In just nine months, Butte Humane Society’s new Spay & Neuter Clinic has performed more than 2,000 spays and neuters on cats and dogs from their shelter and the general public. Considering the average number of offspring each female dog or cat can produce in a year, that’s approximately 8,000 unwanted animals prevented this year alone. Each surgery helps reduce the number of future homeless animals needing care in Chico’s limited sheltering facilities.
Dr. Rachel Caspary, shelter veterinarian for Butte Humane Society, recently took a moment to reflect after completing her last surgery of the day. “I am deeply honored to have this opportunity to work with the shelter as well as public animals in an effort to reduce pet overpopulation. It is very fulfilling to have completed 2,000 surgeries, especially knowing we are just getting started!”
Spay and neuter, especially early-age surgery performed before puberty, will help improve long-term health as well as decrease unwanted behaviors – including unplanned breeding. Spay and neuter efforts are especially crucial during spring and summer, when the warm weather spurs mating and the BHS shelter’s animal intake triples to 600+ animals per month.
“Spay and neuter is truly the most effective way to reduce animal suffering and euthanasia of millions of animals in our country and thousands here locally in the North State,” said Kristen Staggs, President of the BHS Board of Directors.
High turnover in residency, inadequate awareness and education, and minimal access to low-cost spay and neuter have led to a higher-than-average number of homeless animals in the Chico area. The BHS shelter takes in 49 animals per every 1000 people in our community, while the national average is 30 animals per 1000 people. The BHS clinic is an immense step in establishing long-lasting solutions to the community’s pet overpopulation problem.
Now, Butte Humane Society can directly help all pet owners by offering affordable spay and neuter as well as low-cost vaccinations and testing. Though BHS does not offer a low-income assistance program, the organization has partnered with two local spay/neuter assistance programs administered by Paws of Chico and PawPrints Thrift Store.
“We are able to provide low cost yet high quality services because we are a not-for-profit organization that receives discounts on certain supplies, and by not offering the full spectrum of veterinary services we are able to keep our overhead minimal. This allows us to pass these savings directly on to the public,” said Karin Williams, BHS Clinic Manager.
A donation of equipment and caging from Midtown Veterinary Clinic in Davis made it possible to increase the number of surgeries that the BHS clinic can perform each day. Appointments can be scheduled immediately, with no more than a few days’ wait for surgery.
Surgeries are performed Monday through Friday, and appointments can be made by calling 343-7917, ext. 2. The Spay & Neuter Clinic is located at 587 Country Drive in Chico. The facility also houses Butte Humane Society’s Cat Adoption Center. Dog adoptions and animal intake are still performed at the main shelter at 2579 Fair St. For clinic pricing information and a full list of services, click here.
Because the BHS clinic is not a full-service veterinary facility, the staff encourages owners to establish long-term relationships with a local veterinarian to provide complete medical care.