Getting your cat spayed or neutered just got easier for many local families thanks to a grant from the WV Dept of Agriculture jointly submitted by Just One Generation cat rescue and the Braxton County Commission. The program allows for No Cost or Low Cost sterilization services through the Central WV Animal Hospital in Gassaway or the FixEm Clinic in Charleston. Spay and neutering your pet is considered a key element in helping reduce the severe feline overpopulation in the area.
According to Just One Generation program director, Sally Stewart, the program is designed to help those pet owners that might otherwise have difficulty obtaining the procedure for their cats. “We are grateful to both Diane Ratliff, our local coordinator of this effort, and to Dr. Edie Johnson and the staff at the Central WV Animal Hospital for working with us to provide this service. The cat overpopulation problem in this area has been long-standing, and we will never overcome the problem through adoption alone. Spay and neutering as many felines as possible is key to reducing unwanted cats and kittens.”
The organization has received grant money for this purpose in three previous years, but this is the most ambitious effort to date, with hopes of being able to sterilize over 200 cats and kittens in the community. Again this year, a no cost option is available to eligible families. To qualify for no cost services, the owner of the cats must certify that they are receiving state or federal public assistance from one or more of the following programs: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid: Supplemental Security Income (SSI), WV Low Income Energy Assistance Program, Social Security Disability, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or Low Income Veterans Assistance under 38 USC 2044. In order to use available funds to help the most families, each qualifying household will be limited to wo (2) cats under the no cost option. Certification forms can be obtained by contacting Diane Ratliff at the contact information below. Consistent with their office policy, families utilizing the local vet option at Central WV Animal Hospital will be asked for a refundable $45 deposit, that will be returned to them when the procedure is complete. Covered services include spay/neuter and rabies vaccination.
For families that do not qualify for No Cost services, there is also a low cost option, which allows for a spay/neuter and rabies vaccination for $45. There are no specific income guidelines, but applicants are intended to be those families living in or near the Braxton County area that would have financial difficulty obtaining these services without the benefit of the program. There is no limit to the number of cats that can be done through this option, but only two cats can be scheduled on any one day with the vet. The $45 is the fee required by the vet office, as is required up front before an appointment can be scheduled. No additional money is due for the spay/neuter or rabies vaccine the day of the procedure. “We are hopeful that the community understands that there are limits to the funds available for this service, and we are hopeful that only those who are in financial need apply for this program,” states Sally Stewart.
Due to the limited number of slots available at the local facility, we hope to provide a vet run to and from the FixEm Clinic in Charleston for the municipalities of Gassaway, Sutton, and the combined Flatwoods/Burnsville community over the next several months. The first of these vet runs is scheduled for April 17 for Gassaway residents and complete information and registration details will be forthcoming.
Applications are currently being accepted. For information or applications, call or text Diane Ratliff at 978-317-1941 or email her at kadikitty@ gmail.com. The program is in effect for procedures that can be scheduled and completed prior to November 1, or until the program funds are depleted.