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Talkin' animal control

Thursday, February 18, 2010

PetsAlive Spay Neuter Clinic General Manager Melissa Kusturin (left) and Indiana Spay/Neuter Alliance Administrator Emily Reynolds spoke with Brazil Mayor Ann Bradshaw, Clay County Animal Rescue, Inc. Co-Owner and Director Chrystll Owens and (not pictured) Common Council of the City of Brazil member Pat Heffner at City Hall Wednesday about a spay/neuter clinic transport service.). [Order this photo]
*Spay/Neuter groups to offer transport service to county

A pair of organizations are teaming up to help control the pet population in Indiana.

The Indiana Spay/Neuter Alliance (ISNA) and PetsAlive Spay Neuter Clinic, Bloomington, recently began a transport service for those unable to take their pets to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered.

"This is a way of providing a low-cost alternative for Indiana residents and also to promote spay/neuter services," ISNA Administrator Emily Reynolds said.

Reynolds and PetsAlive Spay Neuter Clinic General Manager Melissa Kusturin spoke with Brazil Mayor Ann Bradshaw, Common Council of the City of Brazil member Pat Heffner and Clay County Animal Rescue Co-Owner and Director Chrystll Owens Wednesday, at City Hall, about the transport service.

"Right now, we are providing sign-up, coordination and transport services in 18 counties," Kusturin said. "We are able to do about three transports per day and with two full-time vets on staff, they are able to perform about 70 surgeries a day."

PetsAlive has its own spy/neuter surgery fees of $55 for all dogs, $50 for female cats and $30 for male cats, but offers a special deal for those utilizing the transport service.

"Because of the high volume of surgeries we are able to do at one time, we take $5 off the cost of the surgery if the transport service is used," Kusturin said. "We realize that it is a tough time economically for everyone and some people may not have the means to be able to take their pet to get spayed or neutered. However, if the rabies vaccination for the pet is not current, we also have to give them the shot, which is an additional $10."

Reynolds acknowledged that concerns have been raised about the clinic's ability to perform the surgeries at such a low cost.

"There have been insinuations that it is a 'chop shop,' which is completely not true," she said. "It does cost about $100 per surgery when you account for the equipment, vet and staff costs, but part of the reason we are able to do it for so cheap is that we can perform surgeries in a large volume."

Kusturin added, "We are non-profit organizations, but a lot of the costs are subsidized through grants and donations."

Both Reynolds and Kusturin said vouchers through the Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) are also accepted as part of their service. SNAP is a program through the Spay Neuter Services of Indiana, Inc., in which low-income families may apply for a voucher which allows a pet to be spayed or neutered for $20.

"We do accept SNAP vouchers, and applicants do not necessarily have to fall within the income parameters because special considerations are taken for students and the elderly," Reynolds said.

She added the date to sign up for the spay/neuter clinic and date of the surgery are about a month apart to allow residents the ability to apply for SNAP.

"We have one day to distribute applications and information, along with SNAP applications," Reynolds said. "Then we will meet again about a month later to pick up the animals for the clinic."

Payment is due at the time of signup to secure an appointment, and Kusturin said only cash or money orders will be accepted.

"Our next signup date is from noon-2 p.m., Saturday, in the parking lot of Page's Food Store," Reynolds said. "The transport for the surgeries will then take place at 8 a.m., Thursday, March 18, at the same location."

Reynolds added the pets will be taken to the clinic in Bloomington for the surgeries to be performed, and all animals will be held overnight for observation before being returned to their owners at about 11 a.m., the following day.

"There are so many areas that are more rural and people are sometimes unable to get out to spay or neuter their pets," she said. "Page's has been very gracious in letting us use their parking lot."

Both Owens and Bradshaw agreed the transport service should be beneficial not only in controlling the animal population, but to the residents as well.

"Everyone knows where Page's is and it is very accessible, especially for those living in town," Owens, who has the animal control contract for the City of Brazil, said. "There are a lot of older people and unemployed individuals who can't afford the full cost to spay or neuter an animal, so this program will be very beneficial."

Bradshaw added, "It always seems to make things better for people when they have a pet and this service makes things even better."

Kusturin and Reynolds were also appreciative of being able to meet with city officials in a more relaxed setting.

"Many times we are only able to meet in open council meetings," Reynolds said. "It allows us the time to go more in-depth about our service."

For more information about the ISNA Community Outreach Program, or to sign up a spay/neuter clinic, call 1-866-957-7729.

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Excellent story & information! We also have S.P.O.T. (Stop Pet Overpopulation Today) located in Cloverdale which is also a non-profit organization. I've worked with SPOT many, many times and am always impressed with the skill and professionalism of Dr. Nancy Ferguson and Dr. Shannon. Keep sharing important info like this!

-- Posted by Claycountian on Fri, Feb 19, 2010, at 12:52 AM

I have several feral cats living in my yard and at that price could afford to spay and neuter. Any suggestions on how to trap them?

-- Posted by houseofhate on Fri, Feb 19, 2010, at 5:13 AM

live box trap from rural king is about 30 dollars. Add a bit of tuna and check at least twice per day. keep the trap out of sight as they have a habit of growing legs and walking off...

-- Posted by wtfizdat on Fri, Feb 19, 2010, at 6:15 AM

My only concern is that they are only requiring rabies immunization...Any time an animal is stressed and in with group of other animals they are more susceptible to other diseases such as parvo and distemper. Rabies may be required by law for the protection of humans but doing surgery and even the transportation stress could be a death sentence for an non vaccinated animal. Too many come back and several weeks after exposure get very ill and many times die without treatment and huge vet bills.

Better to immunize a month or so BEFORE taking them in to have the surgery. Big difference between what is mandated by law and what is the wisest recommendation by a vet who is going to be in your pet's life on regular basis.

I would NOT take part in this program without immunizing my pet against ALL of the routine known diseases BEFORE they go so immunity can develop and they will have optimum protection in this time of stress...unless you're ok with the possibility of the pet's death a few weeks afterwards.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Fri, Feb 19, 2010, at 7:41 AM

The Brazil Police Department also has a few live traps that can be signed out at no cost. Because there are just a few traps available to loan, we ask that they are returned in a timely manner after the problem animals are captured so others may sign them out as well. You might want to call the department at 446-2211 to make sure a trap is available before you make the trip to pick one up. Thank You

-- Posted by BPDCOP2008 on Fri, Feb 19, 2010, at 8:03 AM

What if the problem animal is a collared and tagged "pet" that has taken residence under your storage shed? Is there anything that can be done about that? The few times this happened to me, the owners had moved and I was not able to contact them. I don't have a need or want for another cat. Also, be sure to check the trap regulary. If you catch a raccoon or possum have fun! Its likely you will catch one...

-- Posted by michael.galloway1 on Fri, Feb 19, 2010, at 8:52 AM

I think this is a wonderful service, and I would like to add another similar service. I recently had two cats altered at the Clay County Humane Shelter. The animals had to be there between 3PM-7PM on a Thursday, and I picked them up the next afternoon. Cats are $56. and all dogs are $61. These fees include a rabies shot and a free certificate for a physical exam at any one of 3 local vets. If you wish to have a micro chip, that's $25. but really helps if your pet becomes lost. The cats did well. My understanding is that the shelter can only pick up strays in the county, but takes any city or county animal brought to the shelter, and anyone may adopt, get shots, etc. at the shelter.

-- Posted by glasshead on Fri, Feb 19, 2010, at 11:02 AM

Thanks for tips on trapping the feral cats. I don't mind feeding them or watching after them,(people tend to forget that they are one of Gods creatures as well, until they have a mouse problem) but when they multiply!WOW!!

-- Posted by houseofhate on Fri, Feb 19, 2010, at 6:43 PM

I can't help wonder if someone calling themselves house of hate, if they are not responsible for capturing and killing my pet cats!!!

House of hate sound ominous for a pet discussion site. If it is a nearby neighbor, that another neighbor says is doing that, I am going to find out AND take ACTION!!!!!

-- Posted by tomtedder on Mon, Aug 27, 2012, at 9:21 PM

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