Get your cat fixed, please

Paws of Chico offering low-cost cat neutering for World Spay Day

The author is president of the board of Paws of Chico as well as director of its spay-and-neuter program.

Feb. 26 is designated as World Spay Day by the Humane Society of the United States to recognize the critical need to spay and neuter pets. Every eight seconds a homeless dog or cat is euthanized in a shelter. There will never be enough adoptable homes—spay/neuter is the only viable solution.

Although Paws of Chico is not as well known as the Butte Humane Society (BHS), it plays a significant role in Chico’s animal-welfare services. It is the only organization in Chico that provides financial assistance to owners of both dogs and cats who cannot otherwise afford to spay/neuter. Each pet owner makes a co-pay of what he or she can afford, and Paws pays the balance of a reduced rate provided by veterinarians in our program.

Paws also helps anyone willing to trap, neuter and release feral and stray cats by lending traps and assisting with the cost. Since our establishment in 2005 as a 501c3 nonprofit, we have helped to spay or neuter more than 3,800 animals, currently about 650 per year.

Paws is funded primarily through grants from foundations such as Petco and others, as well as through local entities like The Discovery Shoppe. All grant money is used for spay/neuter costs, with administrative costs paid by donations and fundraising. Since 2007, Paws has distributed $144,000 in grants to local participating veterinarians and the BHS spay/neuter clinic.

Did you know that cats are capable of producing three litters of four to six kittens per year, with each kitten itself able to reproduce at 6 months of age? Of the 643 spay/ neuters we did in 2012, the 197 cat spays potentially prevented the birth of more than 2,000 kittens, many of whom would have ended up in the city shelter. And, now that cat surrenders are no longer accepted at the city shelter, it is especially important to make spay/neuter available to every cat owner in Chico.

To honor Spay Day, Paws in conjunction with Valley Oak Veterinary Center will again conduct a low-cost spay/neuter clinic for 100 eligible cats on Saturday, Feb. 23. Call 895-8510 or go to A quilt is on display in the Valley Oak lobby (tickets $1 or six for $5) and will be raffled off at 1:00 p.m. Come join us to celebrate with cake and coffee and to donate to our spay/neuter efforts!