Spay and Neuter Awareness Month

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Spay and Neuter Awareness Month: South Florida Edition

South Florida Taking Action: Affordable Ways to Provide Spaying and Neutering Services for Stray Dogs and Cats in Miami and beyond.

Cities tend to be a place where stray dogs and cats roam like they are one of us. When jogging the Miami Beach boardwalk, our dog runners have observed cats gathering like people enjoying the weather and the view.  At a stop light in Wynwood we’ve witnessed a stray dog casually crossing the street acting like an everyday pedestrian on the way to an art studio. In this fast-paced metropolis that is Miami, people are becoming more and more aware of the serious overpopulation of stray cats and dogs.

Alarming Facts about Pet Overpopulation:

  • “Each day 10,000 humans are born in the United States – and each day 70,000 puppies and kittens are born.  As long as these birth rates exist, there will never be enough homes for the animals.”  
  • Miami-Dade County brings in 100 cats and dogs per day and almost 27,000 per year!
  • Miami-Dade County has more than 300,000 homeless cats.
  • Cats begin breeding at four months, can produce four litters per year with up to six kittens in each litter.
  • Dogs begin breeding between 6 – 12 months, can produce two litters per year with an average of five to six puppies in each litter. (Information varies widely among breeds)

How can you help the continuing overpopulation?

  • Neuter or spay your pet or neighborhood stray!
  • Become educated and know your facts.
  • Volunteer or donate to your local rescue or clinic.

Affordable Spay & Neuter Clinics Available in South Florida (Broward and Miami-Dade County):

Stray Aid & Rescue, Inc is a mobile neuter and spay clinic that is conquering Broward County one stray at a time. They are a non-profit organization offering affordable, high-volume and quality spaying and neutering services.  They also promote adoption of pets from shelters, rescue groups, and not for profit rescue organizations.  How it works: Visit their website http://www.strayaid.org to look up hours of operations and location (typically located behind the Boomerang Thrift Store in Wilton Manors).  Walk-ups or appointments are accepted.  This clinic only offers neutering surgeries, not vaccinations & microchipping, and is a 501 © non profit, no-kill organization.

Spay and Neuter Florida is a public service sponsored by CEASE (The Coalition of Educated Alternatives to Senseless Euthanasia, Inc.).  Their goal is to provide an avenue of help to the general public on where to find neuter and spaying services. How it works:  Visit their website http://www.flaspay.com/home.html and type in the county in which you live.  From there the website will direct you to all affordable neutering and spaying operations within your county. This site does not offer services, but provides information on how to find them! Website also available in Spanish.

Humane Society of Greater Miami has been in business in Miami-Dade County since 1936!  This facility promotes adoption, spay and neuter programs, and attempts to place ALL cats and dogs into homes.  They have two locations: North Dade Clinic in North Miami Beach (Soffer and Fine Adoption Center) and the South Dade Clinic at Cutler Bay.  How it Works: for more information on scheduling, pricing and education visit their website at the http://www.humanesocietymiami.org/ 501 © non-profit.

Miami-Dade Animal Services offers spay/neuter services for dogs and cats at a low cost. Be sure to check qualifications for animals, hours and days for surgeries (limited space available).  How it Works: Appointments can be scheduled online at http://www.miamidade.gov/animals/   and walk ins are accepted.  Available to Miami Dade residents only. This clinic offers neutering, vaccinations, and microchipping. 501 © non-profit.

Before bringing your pet or stray to a clinic, call and make sure the animal is qualified.  If it is too young or does not weigh enough it may be turned down for a service. Pricing for these programs begin at $15.00 and ranges through to $100 plus.  Support the cause, help lower the population, and spay and neuter your pet!

Learn more about spaying and neutering your pets:

http://www.peteducation.com/
http://www.humanesocietymiami.org/
http://www.miamidade.gov/animals/
http://www.flaspay.com/home.html
http://www.strayaid.org

Cat Health Month: Help Your Cat Live 9 Lives!

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Cat Health Month: Help your cat live 9 lives

February is Cat Health Month, which is a purrrfect reminder to check on your feline friend! Cats are known to be independent, often giving a standoffish impression when humans are around or playing hard to get for affection.  Every now and then they ask for a little love and a bit of food, so caring for them seems fairly simple. More care than you think goes into kitty care, though.  

Have these tips in mind when giving your cat long and happy 9 lives:

  • Wellness Check-Ups: Cats should receive a yearly wellness and routine care check up. If they are older, take them for veterinary care every 6 months. 
  • Understanding the Importance of Flea Protectant: Fleas can carry and transmit diseases causing infections, parasites and even worms! Use a monthly flea guard to keep your cat parasite free.
  • Spaying & Neutering: The world has an enormous overpopulation of cats (85.5 million pet cats and 30 to 40 million community cats.  That doesn’t even include the cats in shelters and rescues).  Spaying your cat will keep the population down and also prevent further reproductive health issues down the road.
  • Vaccinations: Vaccinations are a preventative measure you can take for your cat’s health.  Your veterinarian can provide a timeline for when your loved one is in need of the immunization. Unfortunately, if the cat is already infected the vaccination is not effective.
  • Routine Grooming and Trimming: Keeping your kitties’ coats groomed will cut down on shedding, hairballs and makes you aware of any unwanted lumps and bumps that may pop up on their body.  In addition, keeping nails trimmed will give them less of a reason to scratch that beautiful new leather chair you purchased for the living room and reduce playful scratches.
  • Keep Kitty Litter Clean:  When you have a dirty litter box cats are more likely to find a new, fresh place to do their business.  The litter box should be cleaned totally (emptied, washed with hot water and soap) at least once a week.
  • Regular Exercise:  Who doesn’t love seeing their cat go crazy for a laser light!  Keep them occupied with various toys, catnip, string, household objects, etc.  I’ve even seen cats play in boxes left open or a reflection of light in the window. Entertainment and exercise is key for a happy and active cat. 
  • Diet: Give your cat a healthy diet that matches to your pet’s age and changing needs.  No table scraps!  You never know what a cat may be allergic to or have difficulty digesting.

Now that you have the tools and knowledge for excellent kitty care, give some special attention to your loved one during cat health month and implement these tips into your pet care routine!  

For more tips and cat care questions see our other blog topics:

  1. Watch your Cat’s Eyes
  2. The Catio: A Must for Cat Safety and Fun
  3. How to Help Cats on National Cat Day: TNR, Spay, Foster, Adoption
  4. 7 Facts about Catnip for Curious Cat Lovers