Friday, May 10, 2013

Night-Owl Spay-a-thons at the OHS!

Dr. Bamberger prepares a cat for a routine spay.
Love is in the air for the cats of Ottawa.  As the days lengthen and warm up, their kitty-hormones rage, and instinct drives them to seek out a mate (multiple mates, in many cases).  These actions, as we all know, have consequences – two months down the road, these “consequences” (kittens!!!) enter the world and often make their way through the doors of the Ottawa Humane Society in need of shelter and the chance at a better life.

We can expect to take in 200-300 kittens under the age of 8 weeks every month from May to October.  And these kittens represent only about one third of the total number of cats we take in during these months.  Kittens are adorable, but in such large numbers they can be downright overwhelming for our staff, volunteers and resources.

One major "stop on the road" to getting these cats re-homed is spaying and neutering them so that they can’t make the same mistake their parents made.  At the OHS clinic, we average 15 sterilization surgeries each day.  This can feel like a daunting task, but luckily we have help.  Ottawa’s veterinary community is full of vets willing to generously donate their time and skills to help these cats (and other OHS animals) find new homes faster.

 Volunteer, Jan Stark, comforts a dog waking up from surgery.
To get the most out of our surgical facilities we have planned a series of “Night-Owl Spay-a-thons” this summer, an after-hours event where a group of volunteer vets and support staff get together to sterilize as many animals as they can in one evening.  We had our first Spay-a-thon last week and it was a huge success!  Dr. Vicky Bamberger (from Alta Vista Animal Hospital) and Dr. Kim Holzman (from Cedarview Animal Hospital) generously donated their evenings, as did a couple of recovery volunteers, Ann Smith and Jan Stark, who ensured the animals woke up from their surgery safely and with ample snuggles.

So long as love remains in the air for Ottawa’s cats, we will be holding several more of these "Spay-athon" events over the coming months to help control pet overpopulation in Ottawa.

Dr. Alison Green
Veterinarian, Manager: OHS Clinic 

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