SPRINGFIELD — Animal shelters commonly refer to springtime as ‘kitten season’ because that is when they receive the largest influx of homeless litters. That’s why Dakin Humane Society is offering a special “Beat the Heat” campaign sponsored by PetSmart Charities, the largest funder of animal-welfare efforts in North America. Through the campaign, Dakin will provide a limited number of $20 spay surgeries for female cats during the month of February.
Spaying and neutering is one of the most effective ways to reduce the homeless pet population and is safe for kittens as young as eight to 10 weeks old, according to the American Veterinary Medical Assoc. Spaying a female cat before the first heat cycle can be beneficial, improving the health of the pet by reducing the risk of certain reproductive cancers and infections.
“Female cats can have as many as three litters a year, and kittens can breed as young as four months old,” said Sara Quaglia, manager of the Dakin Community Spay/Neuter Clinic. “Most people don’t want to see their cat get pregnant over and over again, so hopefully our ‘Beat the Heat’ campaign will serve as a reminder to people to sterilize their cats before they go into heat this year.”
Thanks to the PetSmart Charities grant, Dakin will provide 250 sterilizations at the $20 rate. The quickest way to book the specially priced surgery is to visit the clinic at 171 Union St. in Springfield in person Monday through Saturday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Surgeries can also be booked via telephone at (413) 781-4019, but an expected heavy call volume could mean a wait of several days before calls are returned to schedule appointments.
The special $20 rate is less than the organization’s normal price. People who wish to take advantage of this offer must mention the “Beat the Heat” campaign when they schedule their appointment. For additional information about the Dakin Community Spay/Neuter Clinic, visit dakinhumane.org.