February is Beat the Heat Month, and it has nothing to do with the weather. Beat the Heat is orchestrated by PetSmart Charities and is an orchestrated, joint effort with humane societies, clinics, and shelters to provide low-cost spay and neuter services for dog and cat owners. Those who want to spay or neuter their cats and dogs before spring and summer will find that February is the perfect time to get pets fixed at an affordable price. Clinics nationwide have partnered with PetSmart Charities and participate in Beat the Heat Month. Check the website for information and participating clinics in your local area. Watch the videos in the playlist above for more information regarding spaying and neutering pets and the benefits of doing so. According to PetSmart Charities, they have subsidized more than 1.4 million spay and neuter surgeries since 2009.
Though both cats and dogs can be neutered and spayed, PetSmart Charities launched Beat the Heat Month as a specific way of targeting homeless cat populations. While dogs and cats both give birth during the same time of year, cats tend to have larger litters than dogs, making the number of homeless cats significantly higher than stray dogs. In 2013, PetSmart Charities addressed the problem of unwanted, unloved and homeless cats in a blog post and launched the Beat the Heat program. Today, many clinics and shelters nationwide still participate in community events to help ensure pets are neutered and spayed. Check with your local Humane Society, ASPCA, clinics, and shelters to find those that are participating in Beat the Heat Month this year.
The best way to find out the price of having your pet spayed or neutered is by contacting your local shelters and clinics either in person, via the phone, or online. The ASPCA takes Beat the Heat beyond the pet owner to those who are actively petitioning grants and funds so that local communities will spay cats before they come into heat. You can find resources, tips, and strategies for those who would like to implement Beat the Heat programs in their communities at the ASPCA official site.
Beat the Heat and low-cost spay and neuter programs aren’t just for rescued, shelter cats, or those in forever homes. Many communities have launched feral spay and neuter programs to control homeless cat populations. Many people are simply unaware of the services available within their own communities. Begin by checking with your local branch of the Humane Society to determine what programs and services are available. You may find a directory of state resources websites and local Humane Society branches at the official site.
Spay and neuter programs provide benefits for all including cats and dogs, pet owners, feral cats, and communities as a whole. One cat can have multiple litters per year, and kittens can become pregnant at 9-months-old. If one cat reproduces and has 12 cats per year, it’s easy to see how quickly the homeless cat population can explode. Japan’s Cat Island is a perfect example of how cats can literally multiply to the point they easily outnumber other species. Watch the video below of Japan’s infamous Cat Island
Spaying and neutering cats provide many health benefits and advantages. Cats that are spayed or neutered tend to live longer than other cats. There is also a lowered risk of pets becoming injured or killed due to roaming. Cats that are spayed or neutered are often content remaining in the home.
The benefits for community cats with programs like Beat the Heat or trap-spay-neuter-release are immense. Reducing the homeless cat population means fewer cats that ultimately end up in rescue missions and shelters. Feral cats are not properly socialized with humans and often make poor family pets. By reducing the number of cats born in the wild and spaying or neutering pet cats, the chances of every cat having a loving, forever home increases.
[Featured Image by Vladimir Konstantinov/Shutterstock]