WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Palm Beach County animal shelter is doing its part to limit the cats out and about on the streets.
Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League held its quarterly “Spay Day” on Saturday to prevent more kittens from being born.
“That’s going to end up saving thousands and thousands of lives, honestly,” said Alyssa Dazza, the shelter’s admissions and TNVR manager. “It is intended to get as many community cats spayed and neutered so they’re not reproducing while they continue living outside.”
TNVR stands for trap, neuter, vaccinate and return.
Dazza has been working in shelters for about 11 years. She said overpopulation has never been this bad, but events like this one greatly help.
“During COVID when there was a pause on elective surgeries, we could not sterilize dogs and cats in shelters. It started going back up,” said Dazza.
Here’s how this works: First, the cats are trapped using cages. Then they undergo surgery, get vaccines, and any other care they may need. Finally, they’re returned to where they were found but are unable to make more kittens.
The whole process takes about four hours and is painless.
“It’s very safe. We’re doing 500 today,” said Dr. Alyssa Comroe, the medical director at the shelter. “We do this all the time. We do surgery five days a week here at Peggy Adams. These animals are safe. While it is technically a major surgery, we are experts in doing it, and we do provide multiple pain medications to make them comfortable.”
Comroe said this event is crucial for the overall health of the community.
Each cat in the community can have about 12 to 24 kittens a year. Doing the math, that’s at least 6,000 kittens avoided in an already overpopulated community with a 75% mortality rate among kittens.
“Not only are we reducing the overpopulation; we’re reducing kitten death,” said Comroe. “That’s really important. Nobody wants to find that outside and know that they suffered.”
The organization is always looking for volunteers and donations to keep things running smoothly. You can also borrow a trap cage from the organization by paying a deposit fee. The deposit is returned to you once you bring back the cage.
More information on their quarterly spay day is here.