Pet owners have options for spaying and neutering

Veterinarians in Harvey and Marion counties continue seeing the benefits of a voucher program that helps pet owners defray the expense of spaying or neutering their animals.

Mike Jantz, assistant director at Caring Hands Humane Society in Newton, said the program works through donations.

“A resident of Harvey County wanted to help residents who could not get their pet spayed or neutered,” he said. “The money was in the form of an endowment.”

The other part of the program is in Marion County, he said. It, too, has a voucher system, and when money is donated to Marion County, pet owners can use this program.

“Right now, there is no money in the Marion County fund, but when there is cash available, the pet owner needs to get a letter of recommendation from their veterinarian requesting a voucher,” Jantz said.

Initiating the Marion County program was Jessica Laurin, veterinarian at the Animal Health Center of Marion County.

Local problems

Jantz said it’s been difficult getting the program stabilized.

“I’ve been asked by a lot of people in Marion County what can be done to get the word out (to get money into the program),” he said.

One of the ways Jantz suggested was going through Tabor College and seeing if somebody working on a degree in marketing would be interested in such a project.

“The student could market the program at funeral homes, because many times people grieving don’t know where to leave a memorial or families pre-planning might also not know where to leave money,” he said.

Giving to an area program is one way to memorialize someone’s life, Jantz added.

“The money would come directly to Caring Hands, but would be earmarked for Marion County’s fund,” he said.

The money from the program could be used for cats, dogs, ferals, inside or outside, he said—as long as there is a recommendation letter from the veterinarian.

Word of mouth

Another way for people to learn about the program is by word of mouth. If someone wanted to donate $20 toward a voucher, Jantz said that would work, too.

“Vouchers cost $65, which is the discount someone would get for neutering or spaying their pet,” he said. “Sometimes people will give us a check in memory or in honor of someone.”

Another way to donate if someone doesn’t have a checking account, or would prefer not to use a money order for a $5 or $10 donation, they can bring the cash directly to Animal Health Center of Marion County, 119 S. Coble.

“If a person comes in and wants to donate $100,000 to the Marion County Spay or Neuter Your Pet, they should come to Caring Hands and speak to our executive director,” he said.

Together, the donor and officials can work out the details, Jantz added.

Not animal’s fault

Jantz said a lot of people in the area don’t spay or neuter their feral cats.

“These people just allow them to reproduce, but Mother Nature can be hard on these little animals by allowing other animals, running rampant through the county, to take care of the overpopulation (that was preventable).”

The state of Kansas, he said, does have rules governing how many animals a person can adopt over the course of a year, whether in the city or county.

“People and vet clinics need to be careful how many animals are being adopted to one certain person,” he said.

Barn cat program

The Caring Hands Humane Society, 1400 S.E. Third St., Newton, has a barn cat program when cats are available. All it takes is for someone to fill out an adoption application either online or at the office, Jantz said.

“Once we have a large population of feral cats that are brought in, we get on the horn and start looking for farmers wanting barn cats to live out their lives on a farm,” Jantz said. “These cats deserve to live like any other animal. It’s not their fault that they don’t have a home.”

Jantz encourages individuals to surrender feral cats to Caring Hands.

“If we can’t handle them, they would be given away as ferals with the hope someone will take them,” he said.

When the humane society has feral cats or cats that are unsociable, they are not declawed.

“We don’t allows ferals or any other cats to be declawed particularly if they are going to a farm,” he said. “We also spay or neuter them at no cost. These animals deserve to live like friendly, domesticated animals.”

For more information about the Marion County or Harvey County program, either call 316-283-0839; in Marion County call the Animal Health Center at 620-382-8800 or talk with your local veterinarian.

“We already have enough homeless cats and dogs in our counties,” he said. “We don’t need to add to it.”

Written By
More from Patty Decker
Marion City Council takes action on mediocre street work
The Marion City Council, at its meeting Oct. 27, finalized the Main...
Read More