Humane Society Conquers Charity ContestMay 05, 2016 02:00PM ● By Bryan Scott
By Travis Barton | [email protected]
Murray - In an effort to deter feline promiscuity throughout the valley, Salt Lake County Animal Services held a Free Feline Fix day on April 6 with another one scheduled for June 1.
Animal services offered a program where the first 40 cats within its jurisdiction were spayed or neutered, vaccinated and micro chipped for free.
“We want to help prevent so many litters being born,” Marketing and Communications Manager Callista Pearson said.
Pearson said that with the warm weather, cats can sometimes have two or three litters during a given year.
“Their gestation period is only about six weeks, so as soon as they’re done with one litter they can [get pregnant] and have another,” Pearson said.
Pearson said it leads to an overcrowding population of kittens and one that the Free Feline Fix will hopefully restrain.
“Kittens are so cute and sweet, but there are not enough people out there to care for as many kittens as there are,” Pearson said.
Pearson, owner of two dogs and a cat, said that’s also why Animal Services does its Trap, Neuter and Release (TNR) Community Cat Program where after performing the necessary fixes on the cats, they are released into a community where they can be taken care of.
“When people were just euthanizing those community cats rather than spaying or neutering them, those cats would die off then more cats would come,” Pearson said. “This way they keep more cats from coming, and they also prevent more cats from being born.”
Besides being spayed or neutered, the cats are vaccinated with FVCRP, which is meant to prevent common diseases and boost the immunity of domesticated cats. The microchips are inserted between the shoulder blades so cats can be registered online. This way if the cat is lost and found by the Animal Services, they can scan the chip and then contact the owner.
Animal Services started the Free Feline Fix program last year. Pearson said it helps families who otherwise couldn’t afford it.
Utah Faces, an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to improve animal welfare and eliminate euthanasia, sponsors the free fixing for Animal Services.
Only those who live within the Animal Services jurisdiction could participate in the free fixing for their cat while those outside the jurisdiction could get the full servicing for $50. The same will be true for the June 1 event.
“It’s a screaming good deal considering all of that is usually around $300,” Pearson said.
Animal Services jurisdiction covers Herriman, Holladay, Midvale, Riverton and Salt Lake City as well as the Emigration Canyon, Copperton, Kearns, County Islands, Magna, Millcreek and White City townships.
Pearson said those are the only cities that have contracted with Animal Services, which is why other cities aren’t included in its jurisdiction.
“We do want to be a regional facility and have everybody contract with us; it’s what we’re hoping for eventually,” Pearson said. “That way we can offer the same service to everyone in Salt Lake County.”
Animal Services is the largest municipal no-kill shelter in the state of Utah. More than 12,000 animals passed through Animal Services in the last year, and Pearson said their no-kill rate is about 94 percent.
“That means that basically every animal who’s healthy is adopted out because we don’t euthanize for time or space,” Pearson said.
The next, and possibly last for the foreseeable future, Free Feline Fix day will be June 1. A licensing fee of $10 will be required.
For more information, go to slco.org/animal-services.