DENHAM SPRINGS — Several animal organizations are getting together to address the overpopulation of pets in Livingston Parish.
The Denham Springs Animal Shelter, Pet Aid, Petco and the Feral Cat Coalition have joined forces to promote Fix It Denham Springs, a campaign to spay and neuter both pet and stray cats, said program head Maurice Durbin.
“Cats have so many litters,” Durbin said. “They can easily have three in a summer.”
While the program heavily targets cats because of their ability to produce large numbers of offspring during shorter periods of time compared to dogs, the program accepts cats and dogs, both personal pets and stray animals, Durbin said.
“It’s all about responsibility,” Durbin said, emphasizing the goal of the program.
“We can’t kill our way out of this,” said Durbin, adding that spaying and neutering is also the answer to reducing the number of animals in both kill and no-kill shelters. “We have to spay and neuter.”
Durbin, who also works at the Denham Springs Animal Shelter, said some animals have been housed at the facility since 2006 and 2007. The Denham Springs Animal Shelter has been a no-kill shelter for the past 12 years, Durbin said.
The group will provide financial help to Livingston Parish residents who regularly feed large groups of unaltered stray animals, and provide traps to capture stray cats, Durbin said. Once stray cats are caught, they are spayed or neutered and their ears are clipped so residents and area veterinarians know the animals have already undergone the procedure in case they’re trapped again. Personal pets that are spayed or neutered are tattooed.
“As long as we have the money, we’re going to spay and neuter,” she said.
The program accepts donations and hosts fundraisers throughout the year to help. While they receive money from video bingo, proceeds from the games haven’t brought in much money lately, Durbin said.
When the program first started in 2001, the program spayed 67 animals. Today, the nonprofit organization has spayed or neutered 16,000 dogs and cats in Livingston Parish. Animals that are spayed and neutered through the program also receive a rabies shot, Durbin said.
The group charges $30 to neuter a male cat and $45 to spay a female cat. Male dogs cost $45 to be neutered and female dogs cost $75 to be spayed, Durbin said.
“At these prices, it’s easy to get an animal spayed or neutered,” Durbin said.
Residents who need traps must provide a $60 refundable deposit. For information, call (225) 664-6126.