Pharos-Tribune

April 15, 2014

Keeping tabs on the cat population

Neuter Scooter provides treatment for 38 cats at Monday clinic

By Misty Knisely Managing editor
Pharos-Tribune

---- — For every one person born, 10 kittens are born.

And if you ask Dr. Tess Peavy, a veterinarian who visited Logansport Monday with the Neuter Scooter, that math doesn’t work.

But with the work Peavy and her assistants did Monday, the math is looking better, even if only a little. Area residents brought 38 cats to Monday’s clinic held in the Logansport Mall. Twenty females and 18 males.

And with 20 cats now destined to not be mothers, the math will only continue to get better. A female cat can have up to four litters a year. At an average of six kittens per litter, that’s the possibility of 15 to 20 kittens a year from just one female.

By spaying 20 female cats Monday, it could mean that up to 400 kittens won’t be added to the surplus stray population this year.

And many of those strays would have ended up with Logansport’s Cause for Paws. The organization’s vice president and official cat wrangler, Sandi Simms, brought 16 cats to Monday’s low-cost spay and neuter clinic. Though the organization’s adoption fee covers some of the cost of spaying and neutering, it doesn’t cover it all.

“We lose $10 on each cat,” Simms said.

That deficit is made up by donations instead of tacking the additional expense back onto the adopter.

Cause for Paws takes in as many stray animals as possible, but a lack of foster homes has the organization operating with a wait list, Simms said.

At Monday’s clinic though, the organization found a new foster family.

Kelly Richardson and her daughter Eve were at the clinic to have their own animals treated when they stopped to ooh and aah at the 16 animals Simms brought with her.

They were hooked.

Simms said the organization needs more people like the Richardsons.

“We’re desperate for fosters,” Simms said. “If we had more foster homes, then we could take in more cats — and quicker,” she said.

Fosters care for the cats until they’re adopted into a new permanent home. Fosters bring the cats to the mall every Saturday in hopes that their new owner will be found at the weekly open house.

Peavy credits Cause for Paws for bringing the Neuter Scooter to Logansport. She said she believes the Neuter Scooter’s efforts are paying off in a number of ways.

For one, Peavy said, it’s paved the way for similar services.

“When we started in 2000, there was only one other [low-cost spay and neuter] clinic in the whole state,” she said. “Now, they’re popping up all over the place.”

The Neuter Scooter travels to hit the areas that don’t have a similar service available.

Another way it’s helped is by decreasing the population of strays. Simms said she’s found that she gets a lot of repeat customers.

“Once you bring a stray in to have it fixed, you really start to notice the others that are around,” she said.

And when it comes to strays, Simms has a philosophy.

“Don’t feed ‘em if you’re not gonna fix ‘em,” she said. “It may sound harsh, bit you’re only gonna make it worse.”

But what it all comes down to for Simms is love.

“I love cats,” she said. “I love every kind of cat.”

And it seems so do the Richardsons. But there’s a chance they won’t become fosters after all — they just might be adopting.

“I don’t know if I could bring her back if we took her home,” Eve said to her mother of the cat they’d chosen.

“Looks like we might have another adopted kitty kat,” her mother responded.

Reach Misty Knisely at misty.knisely@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5155