The Siskiyou Humane Society Board of Directors, staff and volunteers thanked the Shasta Regional Community Foundation for a grant of $5,000 from the Animal Welfare Endowment Fund.

The Siskiyou Humane Society Board of Directors, staff and volunteers thanked the Shasta Regional Community Foundation for a grant of $5,000 from the Animal Welfare Endowment Fund.

The grant funding provided public assistance to Siskiyou County low income pet owners by spaying and neutering their healthy cats, kittens dogs and puppies. Rabies vaccinations were also administered to age appropriate pets, said SHS Shelter Manager Kim Latos.

Shasta Regional Community Foundations Animal Welfare Endowment Fund provides faithful financial contributions and demonstrates their deep commitment to the animal welfare industry, Latos said.

“We know there are many pet owners in Siskiyou County that cannot afford the price of spaying and neutering at local vet hospitals due to the high cost,” said Latos. “With no low cost, high volume services in Siskiyou County, SHS established a relationship with Haven Humane Spay and Neuter clinic in Redding over a decade ago.”

Last year the founder of Haven SNYP, Spay and Neuter Clinic in Talent Oregon contacted SHS and another relationship formed, Latos explained. Both Haven and SNYP clinics are able to provide high quality, low cost procedures and unlike most veterinary hospitals, the clinics are able to accommodate a high volume of patients the same day.

There are generally two vets performing the surgeries, allowing the ability to schedule more animals. When transporting both shelter animals and public assist pets, SHS could easily fill an entire days schedule at either clinic.

Transporting to these out of county clinics maximized the amount of animals we could assist with the grant funding. SHS was able to provide the transport services every two weeks for over a year, a total of 76 animals were spayed and neutered, 39 received rabies vaccinations.

“There was a diligent amount of work involved to prepare the animals and transport them to and from the clinics,” said Latos. “A typical transport would consist of pet owners dropping off their pets the day before the surgery. Pre-op exams were performed and each animal was provided a temporary ID collar with specific documentation and records prepared to accompany them. Appropriate sized crates were labeled and lined with soft bedding.

“The next morning our Executive Director would arrive at 4:30 a.m. and the animals were crated and loaded into the van. Arriving at the clinic at 7 a.m., the animals were unloaded and checked in to the clinic.”

Later in the day after post-op observation and recovery the animals were loaded back into the van for the trip back to SHS, unloaded, checked and fed. The morning following surgery, owned pets were released back to their families with instructions for care and an appointment to return to have sutures removed, said Latos.

Of the 76 altered under this program 39 were female cats.

“No matter how you do the math, there are too many cats/kittens and too few homes,” Latos said. “We were curious as to how many kittens these 39 cats would have reproduced. There is a common misconception that after seven years an unaltered pair of cats could reproduce over 400,000 kittens,” said Latos.

There is a “unspayed cat to kitten calculator” online that attempts to (loosely) apply math calculations to scientific principles as they relate to cat reproduction. Taken into consideration are factors such as a high percentage of owned cats are neutered and a small percentage of feral cats are neutered. Also factored in are annual mortality rates as well as post-weaning survival rates of kittens. Following the guidelines of the calculator the total kittens born after seven years would have been 61,850.

“Responsible pet owners should spay or neuter their pets,” Latos said.

SHS would like to continue to offer these services in the future, but at this time the grant funding has been depleted.

“We will be applying for another grant this year,” said Latos. “If you would like to donate to this program or would like more information please contact (530) 926-4052. Donations can also be mailed to Siskiyou Humane Society, 1208 N Mt Shasta Blvd or through PayPal on our website www.siskiyouhumane.org.

The Siskiyou Humane Society exists to improve the lives of companion animals by sheltering, rehabilitating, reducing pet overpopulation and finding permanent homes. The organization promotes responsible pet ownership, kindness to animals and enhancement of human-animal relationships through education and outreach.