“We are trying very hard to be proactive before kitten season,” animal shelter Director Tammy Davis told the Animal Control Board on Wednesday.
“So I have a donor who is willing to give money, and we’re doing a big push in February and March to the public to say, ‘If you have cats — especially outdoor but we’ll do indoor — that are not fixed, we will pay to spay and neuter your cat.’”
An un-spayed female cat, her mate and all of their offspring producing two litters per year, with 2.8 surviving kittens per litter can total 11,801 cats in just five years, according to The Pet Savers Foundation.
Davis said all the shelter requests is $10 to pay for a rabies vaccine shot.
Since making the announcement on the shelter’s Facebook page less than a week ago, Davis said almost 40 Washington County residents have signed up.
The private donor has agreed to fund spay and neuter services for as many cats that sign up, Davis said.
“So we’re starting out with a 200 (goal) for cats. But, if we are overwhelmed, it will continue on,” she told the board.
As far as having enough veterinarians to do the procedures, Davis said she has already scheduled daily appointments at Northridge Veterinary Clinic, Robinson Animal Hospital and with veterinarian Margaret Mitchell in Bristol, Virginia.
Those wanting to participate in the free service have to make an appointment with the animal shelter by calling 423-926-8769.
As discussed during the financial report, this fiscal year is the first time the shelter has accounted for spay and neuter costs as part of its whole budget.
So far, during the 2019 fiscal year, the shelter has spent $63,503 on sterilizing cats, and $33,919 on dogs. In January alone, the shelter reported spending $14,881 on spay and neuter costs.
Some of those costs are absorbed through fees and donations made specifically for those services. In January, the shelter received $7,325 in spay and neuter donations and gained $2,240 through spay and neuter fees.
In total, the animal shelter reported $87,669 in expenses and $95,519 in revenue for January.
The shelter also took significantly fewer dogs and cats this January, 250, when compared to the same period last year, 340. But, that also led to fewer adoptions with 207 reported for the month.
The Animal Control Board is also working to finalize a draft of proposed spay and neuter ordinances, with the hope that Johnson City and Washington County will adopt them.
Johnson City Mayor Jenny Brock, who serves as president of the board, said those ordinances could be introduced to both the city and county commissions this summer.