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Feline frenzy

Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 11:52 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, June 14, 2012 7:23 a.m. CDT
Caption
(OST photo by AMY HANSEN)
Joy Durham, new manager at Clarke County Animal Shelter, holds up a kitten.

By AMY HANSEN

CNA staff reporter • ahansen@crestonnews.com

Get your paws in gear.

Clarke County Animal Shelter (CCAS) has been awarded a $1,500 grant for a spay and neuter project by the Miccio Foundation.

The project will provide spay and neuter surgery for cats belonging to low-income families or individuals in Osceola who receive public assistance.

The main reason CCAS applied for the grant was if people don’t sterilize their animals, it can create an overpopulation.

“There have been people just trapping animals up there and dumping them at the shelter ... primarily cats,” said Phyllis Mains, vice president of the CCAS board.

The Miccio Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation created for benevolent and educational purposes. It supports projects that address the well-being of animals in Iowa, with its primary focus on companion animals.

Overpopulation

The implementation of the project will provide greater education opportunities for the public about the importance of spaying and neutering to reduce the large numbers of cats and kittens who are abandoned on the streets of Osceola, which can lead to multiplying, spreading disease and suffering.

Mains said only sterilizing cats and dogs will reduce overpopulation.

People who receive food stamps, Social Security disability, energy and housing assistance can apply for a free spay and neuter application at CCAS. The public can also call 641-342-1180 for appointments.

It is a first-come, first-serve basis for the cats.

This month, CCAS is celebrating its third anniversary.

“A brand-new shelter, struggling to establish itself, primarily we’re funded by the public,” Mains said. “Two-thirds of our money comes from the public, donations.”

Space

At the time of the interview with Mains June 7, there were three litters of kittens in foster care and another litter at the shelter. A stray kitten had also been dropped off that day.

There are only 12 cages in the “well” room at the shelter, and four cages in isolation for newcomers.

There are only 19 kennels for large dogs and four for small dogs.

This creates a limited capacity.

CCAS is in partnership with seven other shelters, and when CCAS is full of dogs, the partners will help take them.

Thursday, Mains said all of the shelter partners were full.

“The whole reason for this project, and the war cry for every animal shelter, is spay and neuter your animals,” Mains said.

Sterilization

Mains said it’s rare to have a dog or cat surrendered to the shelter who has been spayed or neutered.

Most of the time, the cats are pregnant when they are brought in.

Mains said the CCAS is hoping this project will help people come forward to spay and neuter for free, which would cut down on how many litters of cats there are a year.

“There has been up to nine kittens, and we have a litter of nine puppies from one animal,” Mains said, “and if this happens repeatedly every year ... what we’re hoping to see is a reduction.”

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