Clinic helps low-income families afford cat healthcare

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Dr. Sheena Sorenson/courtesy photo Volunteers help wake up cats at a previous low-cost spay and neuter clinic. The next event takes place Saturday, Oct. 5.

When you ask the staff at Adams County Pet Rescue what they want to see more than anything else, it is for more people to spay and neuter their pets. That is why, several times a year, the shelter helps to sponsor a special low-cost clinic for cat owners living in Adams County who would like to spay or neuter their cats and cannot afford the surgery without help.

The SNAP program is only for low-income individuals. A co-pay of $30 for each cat must be submitted with the application. The co-pay is refunded if the application is not approved.

The clinic takes place Saturday, Oct. 5, at McFarland Middle School. The co-pay also includes a rabies vaccination, ear tipping and tattoo placement.

The clinic will begin at 8:30 a.m. and wrap up around 3:30 p.m.

“Call to set an appointment because we fill up fast,” said ACPR employee Erika Salmeron. “Come in, fill out the paperwork and pay to hold your spot.”

Not only is spaying and neutering important to control populations, Salmeron said there are a lot of different things cats can get so vaccinations are essential to a cat’s health.

“We’ve seen cats get a lot healthier after being fixed,” she said. “Also, they don’t run off and the males don’t spray. With the girls, they have a better attitude and are nicer.”

Animal control officer Winston Estrada said he has seen neighbors argue because one cat in the area is spraying.

“They usually think it’s someone’s dog, but it’s a cat,” Estrada said.

At the current time, veterinarians who are helping out that day will be Drs. Sheena Sorensen and Kaitlin Jacobs from Sagehills Veterinary Center, Othello; Dr. Lisa Newton, Aurora Veterinary, Seattle and Dr. Jay Huang, Broadway Animal Clinic, Moses Lake.

ACPR director Kyya Grant said much of the funding comes from the group Pawsitive Alliance in Bellevue. But they are still in need of volunteers for the day.

“We have a cleaning station for their ears that needs manned,” Grant said. “We also need help waking them up after surgery.”

Filling out the application is a simple process. For more information, contact ACPR at (509) 488-5514.

There is also a small $5 fee if the owner would like a FVRCP vaccine for their cat. This shot protects the cat from rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia, which can all be deadly.

Salmeron said it’s not just cats that need protection through vaccinations.

“Canine parvo is very prevalent around Othello,” she said. “It’s important to get the vaccine or your dog can die.”

According to the American Kennel Club website, parvo is a highly contagious virus. Within days, a perfectly healthy puppy can go from playful and active to fatally ill. Young dogs between 6 weeks and 6 months old are most at risk.

As for spaying and neutering, it helps protect older dogs from prostate cancer.

“They live a bit longer and are more healthy,” Salmeron said.

More information is available from your family veterinarian.

Adams County Pet Rescue is located at 1961 Bench Road east of the fairgrounds. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The facility is closed Mondays and Thursdays for cleaning. To contact ACPR, call (509) 488-5514 or email adopt@AdamsCountyPetRescue. Be sure to visit the website at www.adamscountypetrescue.com and like their Facebook page.

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