Community Collaborations: Dumb Friends League Solutions – Cat Spay/Neuter Clinic

Cat being weighed at Solutions

by Robin Russell, volunteer writer

While the Dumb Friends League performs approximately 4,500 spay/neuter surgeries on cats at our shelters prior to adoption each year and another 5,600 on owned and community cats through our mobile spay/neuter clinics, there was still a need to make fully subsidized spay/neuter surgeries for cats more accessible in our community.

With that in mind, the Dumb Friends League opened Dumb Friends League Solutions – Cat Spay/Neuter Clinic on January 17. It provides no-cost spay/neuter surgeries for any and all Colorado cats, including those owned, feral, trap-neuter-return (TNR), and tame or feral free-roaming . Anyone can bring a cat to the clinic, regardless of income. The goal is to spay or neuter an additional 10,000 cats per year at the clinic. In the clinic’s first four weeks, 626 surgeries have been performed.

Solutions is housed at PetAid Colorado’s facility at 191 S. Yuma St. in central Denver, operated by the Dumb Friends League, and staffed by members of our veterinary team and a number of volunteers. Hours of operation are Tuesday-Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The clinic works closely with other local organizations, including Denver Animal Protection, Metro Denver C.A.T. and a number of rescues and TNR groups for trapping and transportation services. When I asked Sharon Thomas, public spay/neuter manager for the Dumb Friends League, how the community is receiving Solutions, she said, “Very well. We’re servicing patrons and rescue/community cat groups from Ft. Collins to Colorado Springs, as well as the Denver Metro area. Patrons have expressed gratitude for providing a program that allows them to properly care for their pets. Rescue and community cat groups have expressed gratitude for providing a program that makes it easier for them to help control the cat population.”

Together with the Dumb Friends League, the new facility and program are being partially funded for three years by generous grants totaling $900,000 from the Animal Assistance Foundation, PetSmart Charities®, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). In addition, updates to the surgical suite and new surgical equipment for the clinic were made possible by a generous gift from longtime League supporter, Henry Roath.

This collaborative effort has the support of the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) whose members indicated that no-fee sterilization was a viable solution to the cat overpopulation problem.

Solutions will augment—not replace—our current mobile spay/neuter program. Humane Education and Outreach staff and volunteers will provide information about the clinic to residents of underserved communities who are most likely to use its services.

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