By Eric Stearley
The Wabash County Animal Shelter is making some changes, adding new services, while reinstating others that were not offered for a period of time.
The shelter has adopted a new vaccination and testing policy, through which each animal that arrives at the shelter is tested for likely diseases. Cats are tested for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), while dogs are tested for heartworm. Cats and dogs receive their respective vaccinations along with a one-year rabies vaccine, which both animals receive.
Once again, microchipping for pets is being offered. The $12 procedure, which has not been available since May, involves inserting a rice grain sized microchip underneath the animals’ skin so that the owner can locate the pet should the pet get lost.
Another program being reinstated is the spay/neuter certificate program. An intact female cat may birth up to four litters each year, and each litter may have as many as seven kittens. In order to reduce the stray and unwanted animal population, the procedure to sterilize intact animals will be paid for during the adoption process. In addition to the $25 adoption fee, the prospective pet owner will purchase a voucher for $60. A chosen veterinarian will then be able to collect payment for the procedure upon completion.
“Just about any veterinarian will accept it, even if they’re far away,” said Treasurer of the Board Pat Lynn. “If they don’t, they can bring their receipt in and I’ll refund their $60, so it’s a win-win.”
Lynn said that only about 10 percent of the animals at the shelter are spayed or neutered, because people usually do not surrender a pet that they have had had fixed.
“We try to get the male cats neutered while they’re here because they spray and it smells,” said Lynn
Finally, the shelter continues to offer cremation services for furry friends that have passed away. Lynn explained that some veterinary hospitals do not offer this service.
“We want to make sure that the public knows that this is available to them,” said Lynn
The Wabash County Animal Shelter is a limited admittance shelter. Though animals may be euthanized due to poor adoptability, (issues with aggression or medical conditions that affect quality of life) they are not euthanized due to space limitations. Decisions regarding euthanasia are made with the assistance of a licensed veterinarian.