Press-Republican

Local News

April 23, 2013

New program fixes ferals at lower cost

PERU — Dr. Anne Marie Kiley prepped a cat for surgery in her mobile clinic outside Elmore SPCA while more felines waited for their turns.

Cats shifted anxiously or napped in their cages while the doctor worked on her patient.

Adirondack Mobile Veterinary Service is working with the animal shelter to spay and neuter cats for $40, whether they are pets, ferals or strays.

Receptionist Mindy Beshaw said the price includes spaying, neutering, rabies and distemper vaccines.

The procedure is done on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month; other days, Kiley charges regular prices and also does surgeries on dogs, too.

Alone, the rabies vaccine costs $10 and the distemper $15, Beshaw said.

AFFORDABLE

The regular price around the North Country is between $100 and $180 to spay a female feline and about $53 to $140 for neutering a male. Those costs may include checkups and other services but not vaccinations.

Dr. George Palmer, who owns Palmer Veterinary Clinic in Beekmantown, said the quality of care given to cats when they are spayed or neutered factors into the price.

He keeps female felines overnight because the surgery is more invasive, he said; male cats generally do not, but that’s up to the owner.

One reason costs are higher at facilities like his, as opposed to a mobile vet setup, Palmer added, is that he pays property taxes.

His clinic charges $53 to neuter a male cat and between $125 and $130 for a female.

MORE FERALS THESE DAYS

It seems like more people are abandoning cats these days, Beshaw said.

And if they are not already sterilized, they mate and contribute to the vast number of ferals in the area.

Kiley said vaccinating wild cats and strays decreases the risk of passing diseases to pets and humans.

She said her service does not try to find homes for most ferals because they do not have the room to keep the cats. And many are too wild to be domesticated.

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