A unique mobile surgical unit rolled into Kingston on Saturday to offer inexpensive spay and neuter services.
Ron Read’s three-year-old cat, Camo, was a stray his family of six took in. The cost of having their cat spayed, however, was more than the family budget would allow.
“I phoned around two weeks before this actually came online,” says Read, “and I was hesitating whether or not I could afford it.”
The average cost of having a female cat spayed can range from $400 to $600.
“It’s very pricey out there. So when this opportunity came, I was thrilled,” added Read.
In collaboration with the Niagara Region SPCA mobile spay-neuter clinic, the only one of its kind in Ontario, the Kingston Humane Society and PetValu Kingston are paying for 80 cats to be fixed over two days.
“It is just overwhelming from the communities when we roll in. We see the lineups. We have to take lists, and it’s a long-term commitment” says John Greer, executive director of the Niagara Region SPCA.
“We commit we will come back. We don’t want to be a band-aid solution, we want to be here to help fix the problem.”
In the four years since the mobile clinic has been in operation, more than 2,400 spay and neuter operations have been peformed.
The mobile clinic has also conducted over 4,000 wellness checks and visited 20 communities throughout Ontario.
“We really need clinics like this in our community to help people who are on a fixed income or simply cannot afford to have that vet care for their pets,” says Christie Haaima with the Kingston Humane Society.
“They want to do it. It just needs to be more accessible to our community members.”
The Kingston Humane Society takes in 2,000 unwanted animals a year.
“We wanted to bring this unit to Kingston to showcase the need and the demand for a permanent high-volume, low-cost solution,” say Jason Malley, owner of PetValu Kingston.
It’s a demand that’s so great, there are 115 other cat owners on a waiting list to have their pets fixed.
The mobile clinic will be back in the Kingston area next spring.