This information from The Bangor Humane Society is just too good to not share!
Press Release – Courtesy of The Bangor Humane Society
Monday, February 6, 2012 – An estimated 6-8 million homeless animals enter animal shelters throughout the U.S. every year. The Bangor Humane Society alone takes in over 5,000 animals a year. Two-thirds of those animals are cats.
That is why the Bangor Humane Society is thrilled to announce that due to the generosity of the Belvedere Animal Welfare Fund of the Maine Community Foundation and other local foundations, a Spay/Neuter Voucher Program for low-income pet owners opens on February 6, 2012.
This program is available to anyone who receives or is eligible for:
- Food Stamps
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Social Security Disability (SSD)
- Maine Care (Medicaid)
Starting Monday, February 6th, they can call 207-942-8902 to apply. Then, if they qualify, they receive a voucher to use at participating veterinary practices.
Their pets can be spayed, neutered, & receive a rabies shot for an average co-pay of:
- $20 for male cats
- $30 for female cats
- $25 for male dogs
- $40 for female dogs
The cost does not include additional fees required by participating veterinarians. The low-income spay/neuter grant funds received by BHS cover the remaining cost.
“The increased availability of spay/neuter helps reduce the number of unwanted litters surrendered to animal shelters,” said Suzan Bell, Executive Director of the Bangor Humane Society.
Last year BHS accepted 480 owner-relinquished dogs and 390 stray dogs. During the same time, it accepted 3,032 owner-relinquished cats and 597 stray cats. Many of the pets would not have arrived at BHS if owners sterilized their pets. In fact, many cats arrived pregnant or with a litter of kittens.
The funds available for the BHS program are limited and not expected to last more than a couple of months. Last year, the BHS spay/neuter funds assisted over 100 applicants, with almost 100 more names on a waiting list.
Some facts about spaying & neutering:
- One female cat and her offspring can produce over 420,000 kittens in seven years.
- One female dog and her offspring can produce over 67,000 puppies in six years.
- Neutered male dogs and cats are less likely to spray or mark their territory with urine than their unaltered counterparts. They are also less likely to run away from home in search of a mate.
- A female kitten can get pregnant as early as age 4 ½ months.
- It costs less to spay or neuter a pet than raise a litter of puppies or kittens for eight weeks.
- The Bangor Humane Society spays and neuters all pets before adoption.
In addition to the grant funding, BHS also implemented some other spay/neuter programs to reduce the number of unwanted pets available to assist those individuals in the community who do not qualify for the voucher program.
BHS has contracted with local veterinarians to host a monthly feline spay/neuter clinic at the shelter. The clinic can accommodate a minimum of 40 felines per month and charges $25 per male cat and $50 per female cat. The clinic is cash only.
Felines can also receive their rabies shot, flea treatment, ear mite treatment, and nail clipping for an additional fee. Interested individuals can contact BHS for more details. Space is extremely limited, with a waiting list through March. The community’s need for sustainable spay/neuter programs is vast and ongoing.
Lastly, BHS launched a new initiative called “Spay Your Mama,” available for female canine owners. If an owner’s female dog recently had a litter of puppies, the Bangor Humane Society spays the mom for a nominal fee if the owner surrenders the puppies for adoption. They return the mom dog to the original owner for a $50 reclaim fee while they spay or neuter the puppies and place them for adoption.
“The need is great and increasing in our region for low-income spay / neuter programs. The resources available through BHS, the State of Maine Animal Welfare Program, and other agencies are limited,” says Bell.
Each year, the BHS cares for and works to find forever homes for more than 5,000 homeless pets. The Bangor Humane Society is an independent, non-profit organization funded by local contributions and donations. Finding safe homes for animals is not just our mission here at the Bangor Humane Society. It’s our tradition. We thank the community for helping us accomplish this goal each day.