WARREN_SPAY_NEUTER

Meghan Bowers, executive director of the Warren County Humane Society, holds Chi-Chi, a mixed Chihuahua, inside the Humane Society’s nonprofit animal shelter in Front Royal. The Humane Society is working to raise $125,000 this year to fund a low-cost spay and neuter facility in Front Royal.

Hoping to better meet the needs of cats and dogs in the area, the Humane Society of Warren County is planning to open and operate a low-cost spay and neuter clinic this year in Front Royal.

“We know that there is a problem with too many cats and too many dogs in the area,” said Executive Director Meghan Bowers.

Besides adding to a population of animals that need homes, she said it also overwhelms the shelter each spring when people bring in dozens of kittens and mother cats.

Though the Humane Society regularly educates the community on the importance of spaying and neutering pets, she said that isn’t enough for people without the means or funds to follow through.

Part of the problem, she said, is that there aren’t many options around the area.

The Humane Society drives 40 pets twice a month to the Anicira {span}veterinary practice in{/span} Harrisonburg to have them spayed or neutered at a low cost.

“It’s sold out every time,” she said of the transport. And if pets need follow-up care, it isn’t easy to get them back in quickly, she said.

“We need something closer by,” she said.

“This is just the logical step in making it more possible for people to do the right thing.”

The clinic will offer spay/neuter services for cats and dogs of any size, as well as basic vaccines during those appointments and quarterly rabies clinics.

All of the organization’s shelter animals are spayed or neutered before they’re adopted out to families, Bowers said.

Looking at renting an existing building downtown, she said the organization is hoping to raise $125,000 to get the clinic going.

So far they’ve raised a little over $42,000, and she said the shelter has also pledged $50,000.

Their annual Polar Plunge, which was pushed from January to February this year because of the pandemic, will raise money for the organization’s general shelter fund.

Once the clinic gets going, Bowers expects it to pay for itself through reduced spay/neuter fees, which she said will be about half or two-thirds of the cost at other facilities.

Pricing will be $170 for female dogs, $150 for male dogs, $75 for female cats and $65 for male cats.

Packages will be available to treat community cats without a collar and also include rabies shots.

Those who wish to help can call 540-635-4734 to discuss giving and recognition options.

Contact Josette Keelor at jkeelor@nvdaily.com