An “Out of This World” Week for Cats

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The Spay Odyssey lifts off at OHS – reducing homeless cats

The Oregon Humane Society’s Holman Medical Center was recently transformed into ground control for an “out of this world” event that aims to end pet overpopulation. The Spay Odyssey, a week-long Spay & Save promotion offering free feline spay/neuter services for qualifying families, took place the week of Feb. 26. The OHS medical team completed approximately 165 spay/neuter surgeries for pet cats during this time. In total, close to 300 surgeries were completed at all five Animal Shelter of Portland (ASAP) sits, including OHS.

The Spay Odyssey was a well-coordinated effort involving schedulers, veterinarians, vet students, techs, outpatient services and volunteers. For the vet students from Oregon State University, this was the first week of their rotation and a quick acceleration into orbit of the fast paced world of shelter medicine. Lift off took place each day as clients dropped off their cats and the medical team checked them in, did an exam and administered pre-op medication. Next stop, surgery prep where vet techs and volunteers completed the final steps before the cats entered the operating room. The females were spayed in the morning and the males were neutered in the afternoon. This allowed the females more time to recover before going home. It took nine veterinarians working each day to complete all the surgeries.

Dramatically reducing the number of homeless cats may seem like reaching for the stars, but it’s becoming a reality. The number of cats entering local shelters has been reduced by more than 47 percent since 2010 when the ASAP collaboration was formed. This is a huge accomplishment, thanks in large part to the efforts of the Spay & Save program. In seven years, 81,400 spay/neuter surgeries have been performed, 35,500 of those at OHS. It’s a staggering number but there is still work to be done.

The Spay Odyssey was one small step for a family pet and a giant step toward ending cat overpopulation.

The next Spay & Save promotion, the “Spaycation,” takes place June 4-8.

For more information, call 503-802-6755 or 1-800-345-7729 or visit the asap website: www.asapmetro.org

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