“The ASPCI offers SNAP (Spay Neuter Assistance Program) certificates to residents in St. Clair County and Lincoln,” said Melissa Hull, ASPCI shelter manager.
Hull said SNAP certificates can be obtained at the shelter, located at 1071 Airport Road, Pell City. The SNAP feline certificates are $35 and the SNAP canine certificates are $50.
“Most veterinarians will require that the pet be current on vaccines,” she said.
Hull said the ASPCI also offers low-cost certificates that pet owners can purchase to pay for the vaccinations that all the vets in the program require prior to surgery (spay/neuter). The vaccination certificates are $35. The vaccination certificates are only available with the purchase of a SNAP certificate.
Certificates are redeemable at a number of participating veterinarian practices, including Animal House Veterinary Clinic in Harpersville, Argo Animal Clinic in Trussville, Branchville Animal Hospital in Branchville, Cropwell Small Animal Hospital in Cropwell, Crossroads Animal Hospital in Moody, Leeds Pet Clinic in Leeds, Lincoln Veterinary Clinic in Lincoln, Logan Martin Vet Clinic in Pell City and Pell City Animal Hospital in Cropwell.
“In 2012, the ASPCI sold 1,212 SNAP certificates and redeemed 1,234 (some redeemed certificates could have been purchased in 2011 and redeemed in 2012),” Hull said. “This will affect the number of unwanted litters in our community, but we need your help to diminish the number even more. The certificates can be purchased Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the shelter.”
Hull said that so far this year the ASPCI has sold 69 SNAP certificates and redeemed 49.
She said The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals gives 10 top reasons for spaying or neutering your pet. They are:
• Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life. Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.
• Neutering provides major health benefits for your male. Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer, if done before six months of age.
• Your spayed female won’t go into heat. While cycles vary, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently — sometimes all over the house.
• Your male dog won’t roam away from home. An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate. That includes digging his way under the fence and making like Houdini to escape from the house. And once he’s free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other males.
• Your neutered male will be much better behaved. Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, un-neutered dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.
• Spaying or neutering will not make your pet fat. Don’t use that old excuse. Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds — not neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.
• It is highly cost-effective. The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your un-neutered tom escapes and gets into fights with the neighborhood stray.
• Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community. Stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the country. They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, damage the local fauna and frighten children. Spaying and neutering packs a powerful punch in reducing the number of animals on the streets.
• Your pet doesn’t need to have a litter for your children to learn about the miracle of birth. Letting your pet produce offspring you have no intention of keeping is not a good lesson for your children — especially when so many animals end up in shelters. There are tons of books and videos available to teach your children about birth in a more responsible way.
• Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation. Every year, millions of dogs and cats of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.
“The ASPCI is also pleased to announce a total of 1,050 adoptions in 2012, and we hope that 2013 is as successful and that we can place as many or more animals into loving homes,” Hull said.
The ASPCI adoption fee is $125 and includes spay/neuter surgery, all vaccinations, microchipping, dewormer, physical exam, flea preventative, heartworm test for dogs and heartworm preventative, and feline leukemia test for cats.
For more information, call the Animal Shelter of Pell City, Inc. at 205-814-1567 or visit www.stclairanimalshelter.org.
Contact Elsie Hodnett at email@example.com.