Friday, February 21, 2003

Blinky, from Room 4 at the Cat House, poses with the Spay Day poster. The Spay Day phone numbers are available on flyers and the Internet.

Now’s the time
to neuter pets

Spay Day

Hawaiian Humane Society

With the annual Spay Day just six days away, the focus of the Hawaiian Humane Society is on sterilization surgeries.

"There are so many good reasons to have your pet spayed or neutered," said Humane Society President Pamela Burns. "About 420,000 good reasons! It's a fact that surprises many people, but one un-neutered cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 kittens in just seven years. And a single unaltered dog and her offspring can result in 67,000 puppies in six years.

"Their ability to reproduce quickly has created a pet overpopulation problem in Hawaii and across the U.S."

"One way to reduce this problem is a simple surgery which not only prevents unwanted births, but also can extend the life of your companion animals," said Carlene Takushi, staff veterinarian for the Humane Society.

Spaying eliminates the potential for ovarian cysts, which dogs are prone to have, and eliminates a female's risk of developing life-threatening mammary cancer and uterine infections. It also gets rid of the mess of the female heat cycle and the yowling or barking that go with it.

Male companion animals, once neutered, can also avoid certain cancers and several diseases associated with the prostate gland. Sterilization prolongs their lives and makes them less likely to roam, which means fewer fights, wounds, infections and streaking across busy roads in search of females. Males lose a lot of their aggression and territorial behavior after the surgery, leaving them calmer, more responsive as companions and less likely to bite.

DURING 2002 the veterinarians at the Hawaiian Humane Society performed 8,622 sterilizations. Oahu veterinarians added another 8,730 low-cost surgeries through the Neuter Now program last year and countless sterilizations for other clients of theirs.

To encourage pet owners to neuter their pets, the Humane Society will again participate in Spay Day USA on Thursday. The Humane Society will make appointments for 500 free spay/neuter surgeries for pet dogs and cats between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Appointments can be made by phone to Spay Day numbers or by visiting the society. No appointments can be made at the society's regular phone number.

Dogs must be at least 8 weeks old; cats must weigh at least 2 pounds. There is a limit of two surgery appointments per household. Pets without an ID will be provided with a microchip ID for $5 at the time of surgery.

Those who cannot call or visit on Spay Day are reminded about the Neuter Now program, a low-cost spay/neuter option that is available all year long. The surgery through Neuter Now costs $29 for a female dog or cat, and $18 for a male dog or cat, instead of $200 or more.

"The Oahu veterinarians who participate in Neuter Now are doing a tremendous community service," said Burns. "It's wonderful that they support this effort."

Neuter Now is a cooperative effort between the city and county, 37 local veterinarians and the Humane Society. The city funds the surgeries that veterinarians perform for reduced fees, and the Humane Society administers Neuter Now at no cost to the program.

Those who care for cat colonies may have their feral cats sterilized free year-round at no charge under the Feral Cat Program at the Hawaiian Humane Society. Information on these programs is available online at the Web site


Spay Day

This Thursday is Spay Day. Those interested in bringing in a pet can call for a surgery appointment or stop by the Hawaiian Humane Society between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Ten Spay Day numbers have been provided by Nextel:

>> 216-7387 (PETS)
>> 216-7729 (SPAY)
>> 216-3733 (FREE)
>> 216-3647 (DOGS)
>> 216-4349 (IFIX)
>> 368-4415

Voice-mail messages will be accepted at the numbers below if the lines are busy:

>> 368-4417
>> 368-4418
>> 368-4419
>> 368-4420
Do not call the regular Hawaiian Humane Society phone number for Spay Day. No appointments can be made at that number.

"Pet Ohana" runs the first and third Fridays of the month. The Hawaiian Humane Society is a nonprofit agency dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals. It is at 2700 Waialae Ave. Call 946-2187.

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