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‘Beat the Heat’ with spay / neuter promotion

MEDIA RELEASE

Even though warm weather is a constant here on Hawaii Island, Hawaii Island Humane Society (HIHS) wants you to “beat the heat” by spaying your cat in advance of her heat cycle and preventing unwanted litters from being born this Spring.

As with other animal shelters nationwide, spring time is commonly referred to as “kitten season” by HIHS because that is when they receive the largest influx numbers of unwanted litters that are difficult to adopt.

To help reduce the number of homeless cats born this spring, Hawaii Island Humane Society is offering a special “Beat the Heat” promotion sponsored by PetSmart Charities.

In February, HIHS will spay/neuter 50 female cats for a special rate of $20.

Spaying and neutering is one of the most effective ways to reduce the homeless pet population. While some worry that their pet may be too young for this procedure, spaying and neutering is safe for kittens as young as eight to 10 weeks old, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Spaying a female cat before the first heat cycle is actually beneficial, rather than waiting until after one heat cycle has occurred. The procedure is known to improve the health of the pet, including a reduced risk of certain reproductive cancers and infections.

“Female cats can have as many as three litters a year, and kittens can breed as young as four months old,” says Donna Whitaker, executive director at Hawaii Island Humane Society. “Most people don’t want to see their cat get pregnant over and over again, so hopefully our ‘Beat the Heat’ campaign will serve as a gentle reminder to cat owners to sterilize their cats before they go into heat and become pregnant this year.”

This special rate, subject to availability, is even less than HIHS’s normal low-cost spay/neuter coupons and is available to residents of Hawaii County. Cat parents who wish to take advantage of this offer must mention the “Beat the Heat” promotion when they schedule their appointment.

Thanks to the PetSmart Charities grant, this special rate of $20 is available to the first 50 domestic cat owners who sign up Jan. 16-31 any HIHS shelter. Surgery appointments will be made for February.

Twenty-five surgeries will be allocated to cat owners in the Keaau area and five in Ocean View where residents should purchase their coupon at Ocean View Alii Veterinary Clinic. Fifteen surgeries will be available to cat owners in Kona and five to owners in Waimea.

A wait list will be created in the case of no-shows.

Cat owners are reminded that HIHS also sells reduced-cost spay/neuter coupons that are accepted by many island veterinarians. Male cat neuter coupons are $30 and female cat spay coupons are $60, which is nearly half what you’d otherwise pay.

The mission of the Hawaii Island Humane Society is to promote respect for all animals, prevent cruelty to animals, eliminate pet overpopulation, and enhance the bond between humans and animals. HIHS holds a contract with the County of Hawaii to enforce certain animal-related laws and it offers 24-hour service for injured animals and other animal emergencies, humane education classes, low-cost spay and neuter services, lost and found assistance, microchipping and more.

For further information, call HIHS at 329-1175, spay/neuter hotline at 987-7208 or visit www.HIHS.org

Established in 1994, PetSmart Charities, Inc. is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that creates and supports programs that save the lives of homeless pets, raise awareness of companion animal welfare issues and promote healthy relationships between people and pets. The largest funder of animal-welfare efforts in North America, PetSmart Charities has provided more than $165 million in grants and programs benefiting animal-welfare organizations and has helped save the lives of more than 5 million pets through its in-store adoption program.

For further information, call 1-800-423-PETS (7387) or visit www.petsmartcharities.org

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