Several options for neutering animals |

Several options for neutering animals

Emily Aughinbaugh, Tribune staff writer

There are several options available to people who cannot afford to spay or neuter their pets. Two new grants funded by the California Veterinary Medical Association will provide free sterilization of feral felines and pets of low income households.

Anyone who has a Medi-Cal card can present it to Emerald Bay Veterinary Hospital or Alpine Veterinary Hospital for their pet to receive free spaying or neutering.

Also anyone who traps wild street cats can get them sterilized for free at the same participating vets, located at the “Y.”

Dawn Armstrong, executive director of the Lake Tahoe Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said she hopes people will take advantage of the free services because of how greatly sterilization helps the community. Armstrong said after seven years if one female and one male cat mate, allowing for natural attrition, 67,000 cats will result. Armstrong said a majority of these cats will end up on the street with disease.

“A street cat’s average life span is less than a year and it’s a very miserable existence,” she said. “They are domestic animals and they’re lives should be valued.”

Robert Gerat, El Dorado County Animal Control’s senior officer, said although he hasn’t seen a major increase this year in the cat population, people should utilize the subsidized programs.

“It’s definitely beneficial that people spay and neuter. At least they’re being responsible,” Gerat said. “Any program that promotes the sterilization of animals is a good one.”

The humane society also offers a discounted sterilization program. The program offers discounted rates to Greater Lake Tahoe people who are on assistance programs or low or fixed incomes. The program is funded by the humane society and SPCA, the Pet Network of North Lake Tahoe and private donors.

Call Armstrong at (530) 577-4521 for details on any of the sterilization programs.

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