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Spring is about to be sprung — Time to spay/neuter your dogs and cats

By Paul Viau | Feb 17, 2016
Photo by: File photo OOPS, HERE COMES ANOTHER CALICO — Let HS/N help you prevent unwanted spring surprises

You may have read in The Mountaineer that February is National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month. Animal welfare activists didn’t just pick this month out of a hat — Not even “A cat in a hat.”

Did you know? —February is the month that both cats and dogs ‘spring into action’ — going into heat, well before there is any hint of heat in the weather forecast.

My theory is that the dogs’ and cats’ libidos are triggered by Groundhog Day — which occurs Feb. 2.

You may have seen your pets ‘glued to the screen’ Feb. 2, this year, waiting for Punxsutawney Phil, as if they were watching “The Puppy Bowl” on Animal Planet.

Those pets don’t seem to care anything about Phil’s predictions for spring — They’re just riveted at the sight of a groundhog held high overhead, his underside exposed to the world

Naturally, the pets get excited, and in self defense, February has been proclaimed as Spay/Neuter Awareness Month.

So the timing is perfect, because early spring is the most sexually active time for the pets — Yes, even yours.

Female cats and dogs can only have one litter at a time — every 9-10 weeks; but males can go around making new puppies and kittens willi-nilli if left unchecked. (BTW, Willi and Nilli are not pet names)

Thankfully, Haywood Spay/Neuter (HSN) provides low-cost spay/neuter surgeries for Haywood County pets — HS/N even provides free transportation to/from the Humane Alliance in Asheville for the operations and comfy, overnight accommodations for the animals.

This year, HS/N is using a sliding fee scale of $10, $20 or $56 per single pet, based on pet owner’s income

“Most of our clients qualify for the $10 to $20 fee,” said Connie Hewitt, HSN president.

HS/N even has an “Operation Pit” that offers free spay/neuter for pit bulls and pit mixes, including rabies and distemper/parvo vaccine, microchip and a very fashionable, pit-friendly kerchief.

HS/N applies for reimbursement for residents whose income meets the criteria set by N.C Spay Neuter Refund Program to help recover costs. For that reason, HS/N is required to ask all pet owners for a photo ID and proof of income when they sign up for a transport. All information is kept confidential.

So if you are a pet owner, and don’t want to be an ongoing multiple-pet owner, now is the time to call HS/N and ‘fix’ the problem — hopefully before it starts.

Keep in mind, “The heat is on” — kittens can go into heat as young as four months, and puppies by five months. Fixing animals by four months eliminates heat cycles and all the behavioral issues associated with them.

FYI,  HS/N transports are scheduled bi-monthly, with the next transport scheduled for Wednesday, Feb 24. If your pets aren’t fixed, please get them onboard.

For more information, visit www.HaywoodSpayNeuter.org; “Like” HS/N on Facebook or call 828-452-1329. The office is at 182 Richland St., Unit 1, Waynesville, and hours are noon to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday and by appointment.