SPCA launches ‘FixFürLife’ spay, neuter program
Hill Country Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (HCSPCA) on Monday launched a new program called FixFürLife, designed to reduce the number of unwanted dogs and cats throughout Gillespie County.
FixFürLife will offer lowcost, high-quality spay and neuter and vaccination services for owned pets and donation-based services for unowned cats, including ferals, strays, barn cats and porch cats.
“The goal is to make spay and neuter services affordable for everyone, so part of the program is to extend financial assistance to qualifying families,” said Elizabeth Loggie, HCSPCA executive director.
Another goal is to provide at least 1,200 spay and neuter surgeries per year, she said. FixFürLife is planning two free spay days during 2018, where residents can sign up for free surgeries and low-cost vaccinations.
Spay/neuter is critical to stemming the tide of unwanted and discarded dogs and cats in our area, said Dr. Amy Jo Pilmer with Hill Country Veterinary Clinic.
“Even conservative data shows that a single female cat can have three litters per year, with an average of four to six kittens per litter,” Pilmer said. “With half of the kittens being female, and factoring in that 25 percent of kittens will not live beyond a few days, a single cat can produce up to 400 offspring in only seven years.”
And spay/neuter provides benefits to families, the pets and the community, Loggie said.
Sterilization of a cat or dog increases his or her chance of living a longer and healthier life. Altered dogs tend to live up to three years longer; felines can live up to five more years.
Fixed pets have a very low to no risk of mammary gland, prostate, ovarian or testicular cancer. Further, sterilized pets have fewer behavioral problems, like roaming, spraying or aggression (85 percent of dogs hit by cars are unaltered).
“Many people feel that altered pets will become lazy or non-productive working pets; however, research clearly shows the opposite effect,” Loggie said.
Kent Myers, city manager, said stray animals can also use valuable resources.
“Our community also benefits greatly from residents being responsible pet owners and fixing their pets,” Myers said. “Unwanted, stray animals can become a public nuisance and can spread disease if not vaccinated.”
Pet sterilization can also save residents money. The capture, impoundment and eventual destruction of unwanted animals costs taxpayers and private humanitarian agencies over $1 billion dollars each year.
Residents of Fredericksburg and Gillespie County can request an appointment for their family pets and community cats at the HCSPCA or online at www.fixfurlife.org.
“We at HCSPCA are really excited about FixFürLife and are dedicated to its success,” Loggie said. “As Fredericksburg grows, the need for low-cost spay and neuter services is imperative. With the amount of animal dumping due to unwanted litters in our community, FixFür-Life will be the front line to tackle pet overpopulation. This program’s success will directly impact our sheltering system and the health of our community.”