McDONOUGH — Did you know a female cat can give birth twice per year with an average litter size of four to six kittens? Dogs can produce as many or more puppies on average twice per year.
That’s a lot of kittens and puppies, many of which will find themselves in an animal shelter due to overpopulation.
That’s what the Henry County Humane Society is trying to prevent with their new No More Litters Spay/Neuter Program. HHCS has partnered with THE H.E.L.P Spay/Neuter Clinic in Newnan to offer the surgeries at a discount.
Last year alone in Henry County, Animal Care and Control took in 2,929 animals of which 1,135 were euthanized.
Overpopulation is a huge problem in Henry County, said HCHS Board Chair Shenan Griffin.
“What we’re trying to do with this program is to decrease the number of euthanized animals and increase the number of altered ones,” Griffin said.
The program works like this: Any Henry County resident can get their cats or dogs spayed/neutered. The price is $20 for cats and $30 for dogs and includes a rabies vaccine. They even offer a free shuttle service to the clinic for pet owners.
Griffin said the program is on a first-come, first-served basis with a limited number of surgeries per month due to funding. The shelter is absorbing approximately $95 per spay for dogs, $75 for neuters and $40 for cats.
“We’ve only got so much money allotted per month in our budget,” Griffin said. “Donations and fundraising are critical to keep this program going.”
So far this year, the program has helped 88 residents. Griffin said they’re hoping to double that number by the end of the year.
“We want our community to know about this program and use it,” she said. “We want to reduce the number of unwanted litters which will reduce the county’s euthanization rates.”
In addition to a rabies vaccine, the surgery includes a pre-op exam, anesthesia and one dose of pain medication. Pet parents can opt for an additional dose of pain medication to take home for $5, an e-collar for $10 and the annual DHPP/FVRCP vaccine for $13.
Owners have the option to drive their pets to THE H.E.L.P clinic, 12 The Crescent in Newnan, or use the free transport service that picks up at the Henry County Animal Care and Control, 527 Hampton Road in McDonough. The shuttle picks up the day before surgery and drops off the day after surgery.
To schedule an appointment, visit www.helpspayneuter.org or call 770-304-7911. The program is open to Henry County residents and proof of residency is required.
Griffin said donations are key to offering the low cost service to residents. Matching contributions for the program are provided by a Memorial Fund in memory of Lillian Abbott Hurt of Hampton.
To donate, visit www.henryhumane.com, click on the About Us tab and choose donate/wishlist.
“Every little bit helps and we appreciate it,” Griffin said.
The shelter is located at 46 Work Camp Road in McDonough and is open Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m.