POTSDAM - The Potsdam and Massena Humane Societies recently spayed or neutered their 10,033rd animal to be placed for adoption. It is the policy of both humane societies to fix their adoptable animals prior to going to their forever loving homes.
Dr. Edward Gordon, a locally retired veterinarian started the program in 1999 at the Potsdam shelter by offering to spay and neuter the animals there. Adoption costs were raised slightly, but the assurance that the animals would not be able to reproduce was a critical factor in improved shelter animal care. For some reason, these animals were not wanted, and more kittens and puppies would just add to the homeless pet problem that is rampant nation-wide.
A few years later, the Massena Humane Society came on board and transported their adoptable animals to Potsdam for surgery, adding to the numbers of spayed and neutered animals. Now Massena has a surgery facility as well, and Dr. Gordon travels to Massena to perform the surgery there as well.
Dr. Sophia Theodore, DVM and professor at SUNY Cantons veterinary technician program, also fills in when needed to do surgery at Potsdam. Additionally, the Potsdam Humane Society sends animals to be spayed or neutered by SUNY Canton vet instructors, in order to enrich and assist student training.
Spaying and neutering is the right thing to do for pets. The risk for many diseases such as cancer is greatly reduced if an animal has had the surgery. In the case of a female, she will no longer go in and out of heat. Males have a reduced risk of testicular cancer, and will not roam in search of a female and become a much nicer, loving pet.
In addition, spaying and neutering will cut down on the population explosion of unwanted animals. Cats can have up to four litters a year starting as young as 6 or 7 months of age. The offspring start the same way causing an explosion of kittens and cats that can pose a health risk to humans.
The Potsdam Humane Society also offers income based spay/neuter clinic services to income eligible people in the north country through Project S.N.I.P. (Spay Neuter In Potsdam). Their goal is to greatly reduce the suffering of unwanted animals that are abandoned, left to fend for themselves and many cases die a horrible death.
This year there have been an unprecedented number of kittens and cats at the shelter, and the list of people waiting to bring cats to the shelter is a lengthy one. Two for one sales and sponsored adoptions have helped. The humane society does not make money on an adopted animal. The adoption cost of an animal covers the cost of care the animal receives at the shelter prior to adoption.
Hence, shelter operation depends on donations from caring individuals in the north country. The new facility has a $2,000 a month mortgage. With this debt, there is a substantial shortfall in money to operate the shelter as 2012 comes to an end.
Anyone who can help PHS care for the animals, please consider a direct pay pledge of $10 a month (or what you can spare). More giving options and information is available at www.potsdamhumanesociety.org.