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Dakin Launches Campaign to Spay and Neuter Free-roaming Cats

SPRINGFIELD — Throughout April, Dakin Humane Society will offer a limited number of no-cost spay and neuter surgeries and rabies vaccinations as part of Community Cat, PetSmart Charities’ campaign to alter free-roaming cats.

If left unaltered, feral and free-roaming cats produce large quantities of unwanted kittens each spring, flooding local animal shelters. By taking a proactive approach and getting the cats fixed now, Dakin aims to reduce the number of homeless kittens.

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 cat 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 Leslie Harris, executive director at Dakin. “Most people don’t want to see the outdoor cats they’re feeding get pregnant over and over again, so our Community Cat campaign will serve as a gentle reminder to caretakers of free-roaming cat colonies to catch and sterilize their cats.”

People feeding free-roaming cats who wish to take advantage of Dakin’s free sterilization surgery must mention the Community Cat campaign when scheduling their appointment. Appointments are based on availability. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Dakin at (413) 781-4019.

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