Alice Campbell Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
In an effort to keep the streets of Havre and Hill County from being inundated with kittens, Kitty Keepers will hold a four-day spay/neuter clinic March 19 through 22 for people to get their cats spayed or neutered. "(The cats) are all in heat now and if we don't do them now, there are going to be kittens in June, and that's what we want to avoid," the organization's co-founder Penney Bergren said. The shelter adopts out anywhere between 20 and 50 cats each year, but, "We've kind of saturated our area now," Bergren said. "Stopping them from being born is the solution." In previous years, the shelter has altered 3,616 cats. Using statistics that show each cat will have three surviving kittens in three litters each year, the total births avoided in the area so far comes to 32,544. The shelter, founded in 1999 by Bergren and Sue Markley adopts unwanted or wild cats that people call to have the shelter pick up or drop the cats off at the shelter themselves. The cats are then available for people in the surrounding area to adopt by calling to make an appointment and then picking out a new pet. "Over eight hundred (cats) have passed through our doors” and been helped by 12 steady volunteers and numerous others Bergren said. "By the end of the first year, we were bulging at the seams. We've had 200 cats in the shelter at one time" The shelter is once again pushing its capacity limits, Cat taken in by the shelter are placed on a waiting list. "There are too many numbers and not enough places for them," Bergren said. The no-kill rescue shelter for felines has secured Dr. Alan Applebury's services for the clinic that will run from 8 a.m. until as late as necessary all four days at 1117 26th Ave. W. in Havre. Dr. Applebury, a veterinarian from Hamilton, is a regular at the clinics. With his help, Bergren hopes to spay or neuter 200 cats over the course of the clinic for a small fee, she said, adding that traps are available for feral cats and barn cats if needed. The cats will then be sent home with their owners since "we want them to go home the same day. We find animals respond better in their own homes," Bergren said. The clinic also plans three other clinics this year: June 13-14, Sept. 12-13 and Nov. 14-15. Although the clinic is intended to help low-income families spay or neuter their cat, anyone may reserve a slot, Bergren said. To make a reservation, call 262-2279, or call 265-2653 for more information.