Hip to Snip returns to HBSPCA:Pet Smart Charities once again subsidizing low-cost cat spay/neuter program

The Hamilton/Burlington Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is once again offering limited cat spay and neuter services for $20 thanks to a $75,000 grant from Pet Smart Charities of Canada.

“This is our fifth year of receiving this grant,” said Karen Reichheld, manager of animal care at the Darnall Road shelter. “We could not be happier with Pet Smart Charities.”

The grant will subsidize 1,000 spay and neuter procedures this year through the HBSPCA’s Hip to Snip program which Reichheld said also helps control the over population of cats in Hamilton.

Last year 1,200 subsidized procedures were done.

Reichheld said the program is being offered in stages to residents of low and modest incomes across the city and the cats must be four months to five years old.

The first registration for cat owners living in Mountain neighbourhoods with the postal codes L8W, L9A, L9B and L9C goes Feb. 29 from 11 a.m. to noon at HBSPCA on Dartnall Road and all owners must register in person and provide proof they live in the area, such as a driver’s license or another piece of identification that contains their name and address.

Reichheld said they will be taking the registration program into the community in the coming months and those dates will be posted on hbspca.com.

“We never have a problem filling those spots,” said Reichheld, who noted they also offer a community assistance program for cat owners outside of the required postal codes where they will fix your feline for $95 and like the $20 service, it includes vaccinations, microchipping, de-fleaing and de-worming.

Reichheld said the surgeries are performed at their companion veterinarian hospital next door by prearranged appointment.

“Drop-off is at 8 a.m. and pick-up is 3:30 p.m. the same day,” she said.

Cat owners are asked to bring their pet in a safe and secure cat carrier.

“We know there can be many barriers to affordable pet care, and as cat overpopulation continues to be an issue in Hamilton and the surrounding areas, this can cause strain on community resources,” said Dani LaGiglia, regional relationship manager, of Pet Smart Charities of Canada.  “Through our continued partnership with Hamilton/Burlington SPCA, the organization can take a proactive approach to reducing cat homelessness through focused spay/neuter and other preventative care efforts that promote a healthier pet population and reduce financial concerns for pet parents.”

While they don’t keep statistics on the number of kittens that get dropped off each year, Reichheld said it appears the program is working.

“It’s having a huge impact in our community with less kittens surrendered every spring,” she said.

Over the past five years the HBSPCA has received $289,600 from Pet Smart Charities of Canada which has helped pay for 4,100 cat spay/neuter procedures.