Delaware Humane Association, a statewide animal welfare organization with adoption centers in Rehoboth Beach and Wilmington, recognizes the financial strain many pet owners and animal caretakers face.
Delaware Humane works to prevent animal surrender and overpopulation through services such as low-cost spay and neuter services open to the public and those who adopt directly from the organization.
Thanks to the generous support of the Delaware Animal Welfare License Plate Fund, Delaware Humane is hosting free spay and neuter clinics beginning Thursday, Feb. 18, at DHA’s Tatiana and Gerret Copeland Animal Care Center, 701 A St., Wilmington.
This first clinic is for outdoor and free-roaming community cats living in southern Delaware only. Kittens must be at least 4 months old to be eligible for surgery, and all cats must be transported in a hard-sided carrier or trap.
Surgery days only cover the cost of spay and neuter services, as well as a 1-year rabies vaccine. Any additional services will be an out-of-pocket expense with payment due the day of surgery. Sussex County cat caretakers who need transportation assistance can bring cats to DHA’s Rehoboth Beach adoption center, where DHA staff can transport them to the medical facility in Wilmington. Cats must be dropped off between 7 and 7:30 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 18, at the Rehoboth Beach adoption center, 18675 Coastal Highway in the Midway Shopping Center, Rehoboth Beach. The cats can be picked up at the same location later that evening.
Caretakers for outdoor and free-roaming cat colonies are also faced with the challenge of increasing cat populations, especially as kitten season begins.
“March typically means we’ll begin to see an increase in cat intake due to the birth of so many new kittens,” said Courtney Anderson, DHA director of animal welfare. “We are thrilled to have the ability to offer four different free spay and neuter clinic dates to our Delaware community of animal lovers.”
Lack of spaying and neutering can lead to explosive animal population growth, which in turn results in many homeless animals in Delaware and across the United States. It puts financial strain on those tasked with caring for animals, including governments, nonprofit animal shelters and rescue agencies, and animal advocates and caretakers. Spaying and neutering significantly reduces the number of animals being euthanized at open intake shelters or turned away at no-kill shelters due to lack of space. It decreases the cost of picking up and housing stray or unwanted animals, and lowers threats to public health and safety. It also increases the lifespan of pets and improves the quality of life for both people and animals.
The next clinic for outdoor and free-roaming community cats living in southern Delaware will be Saturday, April 10.
To sign up for the free spay and neuter clinics, call DHA at 302-571-8171.
Founded in 1995 and overseen by the Delaware Office of Animal Welfare, the Animal Welfare License Plate Fund supports spay and neuter surgeries for community cats and assists low-income pet owners, and supplements spay and neuter funds for Delaware shelters and rescues like DHA. Special animal welfare license plates sell for $50 at the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles, with $35 from each sale going to the license plate fund. DHA’s four free spay and neuter clinics are made possible only through the Delawareans who show their love for animals by purchasing these special license plates.