By TYLER MASK
For Palo Pinto County residents needing help with their pets, Palo Pinto County Humane Society is one of the local initiatives aiding with spaying/neutering and rabies vaccinations.
“Last year, we helped with over 200 animals, and it cost us over $5000 dollars to do that,” PPCHS's Spay/Neuter Director Nancy Cameron said. “That's just the part that we payed.”
This year, the organization hopes to increase the number of animals treated by 50 percent.
The cost for those looking to PPCHS's assistance program to spay/neuter an animal depends on the breed and size. Cats are a flat rate of $25, whereas dogs range from around $35 - $80 dollars, which includes both spay/neuter and rabies vaccinations. Once pet owners fill out a Spay/Neuter Assistance Application and pay PPCHS, the organization takes care of the rest of the treatment costs and sets up a veterinary appointment.
Stipulations include no refunds if one backs out or fails to show for their veterinary appointment, and PPCHS is not responsible for any negative reactions pets have during or after surgery. To find a form, go to either Downtown Video or Walden's Farm & Ranch Supply.
The benefits of spaying and neutering include aiding in the decline of overcrowded pet populations as well as potentially enhancing each pet's health.
“A cat can have three litters per year,” Cameron said. “Female cats can bring themselves into heat anytime there's a male cat around – they are not like dogs that cycle regularly. They can go into heat immediately and be pregnant while they are nursing.
“People think that if their female dog [that] has not been spayed is in a fenced yard, she'll be fine. But a male dog can tell when a female dog is in heat, and they will climb the fence, jump the fence – they will be in the yard with her. So, although it is very very important to fix the females, it would really help to fix the males too.
“Additionally, it reduces the risk of cancer in both male and female dogs.”
For those wanting to give back and help PPCHS accomplish their goals, saving cans is an easy outlet.
“We do fundraising, one of our big – well it's not the biggest – we raised $750 last year from aluminum cans, and that goes toward our spay/neuter assistance,” Cameron said.
To donate cans, drop offs are located at WF&RS or Smitty's Cycles. If a person is not able to drop cans off, Cameron or someone else from PPCHS can stop by and gather them.
Another way to give back to PPCHS is by sending money to Colita's Fund.
Colita, which means little tail in Spanish, is a Siamese cat that was caught by a resident of PPC and brought to the Mineral Wells Animal Shelter. At the time of her arrival, she was suffering from a traumatic amputation of her tail and bleeding profusely. Mineral Wells cat advocate Leanne Wells saw the cat and immediately sought donations to get the cat proper veterinary treatment.
“I was able to gather enough pledges to fully cover her veterinarian care, including surgery and all vaccinations,” Wells said. “These pledges came from local people and also from across the nation, from Hollywood, California, Florida, Oklahoma, Boston and Dallas."
After all the bills were paid and Colita was on her way to recovery, there was money left over from the donations. PPCHS got on board and worked with Wells to establish Colita's Fund, which is used to provide emergency vet-care for sick or injured cats that come to the shelter.
“In the absence of funding for medical care, these cats would be euthanized,” Wells said.
To learn more about PPCHS, spay/neuter assistance or Colita's Fund, visit www.ppchs.org or call Cameron at 214-906-4563.