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Free cat spay month prevented 1,264 kittens and saved $346K

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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This spring the number of kittens dropped off at both the Sedona and Verde Valley humane societies should be significantly lower thanks to the WTPC Rescue Free Cat Spay Project and two local veterinarians.

In just four weeks WTPC Rescue's Free Cat Spay Month stopped 1,264 domestic cats in Sedona and the Verde Valley from reproducing, according to a press release. This program ran from Feb. 23 through March 21 and was available free of charge to the public due to the sponsorship of WTPC Rescue.

Every spring is "kitten season" and shelters quickly become overloaded with mothers and their offspring. Each year hundreds of thousands of cats and kittens are killed across the United States because the influx of kittens is so overwhelming. In the United States there are an estimated 30 to 100 million stray and feral cats.

Based on figures from, WTPC Rescue's Free Cat Spay Program this last month prevented 1,264 unwanted kittens from being born this year. In five years the number would jump to 3,587,504, the release stated.

By decreasing the number of euthanasias at local shelters there is a substantial savings to the taxpayer. Animal Control Statistics for the United States in 2009 showed that it costs an average of over $270 to house, kill and dispose of an animal.

WTPC's 1,264 cats figure saved taxpayers an estimated $346,336 this year.

Spearheaded by Beatrice Welles, the WTPC Rescue Organization rescues kittens and adult feral cats by implementing Trap Neuter Release programs in Sedona and the Verde Valley. Welles has been an animal advocate since childhood and is one of the founders of the first low-cost spay and neuter clinic in the United States. This Las Vegas clinic was a model for other programs around the world. When she organized a similar Free Cat Spay program in Nevada, the number of kittens surrendered at local shelters that spring was reduced by 40 percent, according to Welles .

"I wanted to make a difference in Sedona and the Verde Valley and the solution is very simple: prevention. By offering free spays to the public, most of whom could not afford to get their cats spayed, we were able to stop kittens from needlessly being euthanized because of the discrepancy between too many kittens and not enough homes," Welles stated in a press release. "Cyndi Sessoms, chief executive officer of the Verde Valley Humane Society will be reporting to us how many kittens will be turned in to their shelter in the next few months. We are hoping the figures will be substantially lower than in previous years."

"I want to personally thank [local veterinarians] Dr. [Chris] Bertch and Dr. [Adrienne] Mulligan," Welles stated. "Without their support, expertise and willingness to provide this much needed service at a reduced rate, the Free Cat Spay Program would never have been possible. Our goal is to be able to continue to offer this service twice, perhaps even four times, a year. Funding is our only obstacle in stopping this very needed service to the public."

The public can support WTPC Rescue's Trap Neuter Release and Free Cat Spay programs by making a donation. A cat spay costs $74.50. For more information or to make a donation by credit card go to

To make a donation make the check to WTPC Rescue, and mail to P.O. Box 3001, Sedona, AZ, 86340. Contact WTPC through

Copyright 2010 The Camp Verde Journal, Camp Verde, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: March 31, 2010

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