By Kristie Bulger
"I've met many thinkers and many cats, but the wisdom of cats is infinitely superior." - Hippolyte Taine
This is the time of year when people start to think about the warmer days ahead and all the fun activities they have planned. For most of the good folks who are involved in animal rescue, this time of year is the beginning of dread because they all know what’s coming. Kitten season. Last year at NCAS, kitten season lasted until fall. It was unprecedented. The staff has had a moment to recover but it hasn't been long enough. When I was deciding what to write for Near North Now I kept circling back to kitten season. I told myself it’s too early. But then I thought about how far behind the vets are in their appointment scheduling. I don’t think it’s ever too early to start talking about spay/neutering our pets. Especially our cats.
Every spring when the shelter is being overrun with cats/kittens it never fails that someone will complain about having to pay an adoption fee. After all, they say, there are lots of “free” kittens available. So a few years ago, I contacted 3 different veterinary services here in the Newaygo County area. I got their prices for all the same medical care that Newaygo Shelter provides for the cats before adoption. Though I’m sure the vet costs have gone up considerably, the shelter’s adoption fees have not. When I put the costs side by side it quickly became clear that the $65 adoption fee at the shelter is a heck of a deal. Cats deserve, but don’t always receive, the same veterinary care as dogs. For an adoption fee of only $65, there is absolutely no reason for cats to be medically neglected.
I’ve shared this graphic a few times and inevitably someone will say the bottom portion isn’t true. They say no cat could produce so many kittens. Well, that might be true because, unfortunately, most outside or feral cats don’t live 9 years. But even though exponential growth is difficult to understand, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Fifteen years ago, our shelter implemented spay/neuter as a mandatory part of the adoption fee. Because of this requirement, the shelter takes in only a third of dogs as before. But the same situation doesn’t apply to the cats in our county because the shelter is spaying so few of them. "Free kittens" are not getting spayed at the same rate as dogs. There is, indeed, a very high cost for “free”…and it’s the cats who pay the price.
Here’s a link to our FB page "Friends of Newaygo County Shelter” where you can see all our available animals:
The adoption fee for dogs is $90.
This fee includes spay/neuter, deworming, heartworm test, rabies & DHLPP shots, flea & tick treatment and license.
The adoption fee for cats is $65
This fee includes spay/neuter, rabies vaccine, feline distemper combo vaccine, FIV/FELV testing, deworming and flea/tick treatment.
Newaygo County Animal Shelter
78 N. Webster
White Cloud, MI 49349
Monday - Friday 11-1
Appointments welcome and available upon request
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