By Terry Harris
This week Animal Service Officer Lisa Mosely with the Sussex County Animal Shelter announced some good news for local pets and pet lovers in Sussex and Surry Counties as well as the Petersburg area.
“Beginning in February,” Mosely said, “we’re going to be offering a free local spay and neuter opportunity for local pet owners in the PETA snip van at the old Fresh Pride parking lot in Waverly. All they’ll have to pay is for the rabies shot that is required for any animal care service.”
The snip fan, or Mobile Clinic, ordinarily travels to various communities to provide rabies shots and spay and neutering opportunities for dogs and cats on site to avoid the expense of going to a veterinarian. According to Mosely the plan is to set up at in the area at least once a month and, with the help of sponsors, the visits will be very nearly free.
Mosely said that the PETA Mobile Clinic fee for a day is $1,000, and they can handle 30 animals in that time. To make the visits free to people bringing their pets in, they will welcome sponsors to help with the costs.
“Butler’s Towing is sponsoring the first one in February,” she related, “And we’re looking for enough area businesses or individual animal lovers to come forward help so that we can have at least one a month.”
“It’s a really easy way for people to take the best care of their pets,” she added. “You just either call 757-622-7382, ext. 3. or visit PETA.org/SpayNeuterAppt. to request an appointment. Do not feed your pet from midnight the night before, bring them at the appointed time, and then they will tell you when to come back in an hour or two to pick them up. They’ll even give you pain meds for while they’re healing.”
“People can go online or call to book appointments with them,” said Mosely, “’and just say ‘I’m in Sussex or Surry County or Petersburg’ to set up an appointment and using the code phrase ‘I love my shelter’ will allow them to take their dog or cat in at the appointed time to get their rabies shot – which is required and costs $10 – and then get the females spayed and males neutered at no charge.”
Moseley said that for multiple reasons, she feels like this spay and neuter service is particularly important now.
“For a start, it will keep the animals healthier,” she said, “as it helps females avoid breast cancer and males avoid prostate problems. And there is also the really high cost connected to these operations. Especially with COVID right now a lot of people have not been able to work and income is tight, and they can’t afford to spend $200 to $400 to have an animal spayed or neutered.”
“Shelters are about helping people and helping the animals,” she continued, “and for a long time I don’t think there’s been enough offered to the public to help with their animals. This means animals have been turned loose when people cannot afford to take care of them, and they are breeding like wild in the wild. Cats can begin to breed at 6 months and litters can have litters in only 6 months, so one fertile cat in the wild can end up being as many as 200 cats in just a year, which means there are wild or feral dogs and cats everywhere, a bad situation all around.”
“So, it just follows that if you cut down on overpopulation you will help the whole community in the long run,” she added. “The best way to do that is to offer the opportunity to get them spayed and neutered safely but cheaply – or, in this case, for free!”