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Pet Focus: Yavapai Humane Society performs 47 free feral cat spay/neuter surgeries in single day

Yavapai Humane Society’s Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic’s team works hard to provide the best of care for the 47 feral cats that were given spay/neuter surgeries in recognition of National Feral Cat Day. From left to right are Stephanie Ekdahl, Dr. Katrina Vanesian, Kitty Clark and Katie Hawkins. (Courtesy photo)

Yavapai Humane Society’s Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic’s team works hard to provide the best of care for the 47 feral cats that were given spay/neuter surgeries in recognition of National Feral Cat Day. From left to right are Stephanie Ekdahl, Dr. Katrina Vanesian, Kitty Clark and Katie Hawkins. (Courtesy photo)

PRESCOTT - Yavapai Humane Society performed 47 free spay and neuter surgeries to local feral cats at its Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic Thursday, Oct. 15. The free fixes - which prevent a countless number of homeless cats in the future - were extended in honor of National Feral Cat Day, recognized annually on Oct. 16.

On average, YHS' Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic performs 25 to 30 surgeries per day. The unusually high number of animals filled the facility to its maximum capacity and took the clinic's team a solid eight hours to complete - an endeavor YHS considers well worthwhile.

Feral cats live and thrive outdoors and are typically wary of humans. Consequently, their needs cannot be met with an adoption approach. In an effort to manage the feral cat population, YHS has implemented a Trap-Neuter-Return program. With TNR, cats are spayed or neutered and eartipped (the universal symbol of neutered cats), and then returned to their outdoor home.

"History has shown that the antiquated approach of extermination as a means to controlling the feral cat population is ineffective. Feral cats try harder to reproduce when members of their colonies go missing. However, something must be done. One unspayed female and one unneutered male can produce a population of more than 11 million cats over the span of just nine years.

"TNR is clearly the best answer for managing the feral cat population, and we are honored to have held this free spay/neuter day for feral cats as a public service and educational opportunity," explains Beth Benninghoff, YHS' Spay/Neuter & Wellness Clinic's lead veterinary technician and supervisor.

TNR helps stabilize the feral cat population, improves the lives of feral cats and improves their relations with the neighborhood because annoying howling and spraying associated with mating stop. Feral cats are also responsible for reducing our community's rodent population. 

For more information on TNR or YHS, visit www.yavapaihumane.org.

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