Bainbridge Island Review


Grants will give a boost to Humane Society’s spay-neuter programs

August 20, 2013 · 8:33 AM

Kitsap Humane Society veterinarian Dr. Melissa Kehl performs a spay surgery on a cat. / Photo courtesy of Kitsap Humane Society

Kitsap Humane Society has received three generous grants in support of its spay-neuter programs.

The Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island awarded $6,987 to Kitsap Humane Society for the purchase of 15 spay-neuter packs.

The Handsel Foundation, a private family foundation, gave $10,000 and the Bainbridge Community Foundation donated $5,000 for the spay-neuter programs.

Officials with the nonprofit said its spay-neuter efforts have been growing, and the grants will certainly help.

“Kitsap Humane Society veterinarians completed a record 3,700 spay/neuter surgeries in 2012 and are working to increase that number by 10 percent in 2013,” said KHS executive director Eric Stevens.

“So far they have performed almost 1,900 surgeries. These grants will enable us to make continued progress in the prevention of unwanted litters that invariably end up at the shelter in great numbers, especially kittens,” he said.

The Bainbridge Rotary grant specifically provides for 15 large and small spay-neuter packs that include specialized forceps, needle holders, surgical towels and other equipment that must be individually sterilized and wrapped for each surgery.

“We are able to complete each spay/neuter surgery within a few minutes depending on the type of animal and size, but when all the spay-neuter packs are used up, we have to wait while the used ones are being re-sterilized and wrapped, which is the time-intensive part of the process. Having more of these packs will allow us to complete significantly more surgeries,” said Dr. Jennifer Stonequist, KHS director of shelter medicine.

More surgeries are what Kitsap Humane Society aims to accomplish.

“When you consider that an unaltered female cat and her offspring have the potential to produce 17 cats in two years, 55 in three years, 175 in four years until the number reaches over 5,000 at seven years, it becomes clear why there is a crisis in the overpopulation of companion animals in the United States,” Stonequist said. “We are committed to reducing the population and relieving the strain on shelters like KHS.”

Kitsap Humane Society spay/neuter programs include partnerships with other rescue organizations such as PAWS Bainbridge/North Kitsap and PAWS Bremerton.

KHS also offers ongoing, low-cost spay-neuter services to pets of low-income residents of Kitsap and Mason counties, including Cat Fix Days every second and last Tuesday of the month. “Low-income” is defined as $51,750 or less in a three-member household and $57,500 or less in a four-member household.

For more information on the spay-neuter programs, visit kitsap-humane.org/low-cost-spay-neuter-program-0 or call 360-692-6977.


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