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Prevent a Litter, Save a Life.

In midsummer 2015, a woman found a tiny black-and-white kitten dragging himself alongside a busy road in West Virginia. She brought the kitten to NHES’ flagship animal rescue facility, The Briggs Animal Adoption Center (BAAC), where it was quickly determined that the kitten, later named “Scooter,” was severely dehydrated, infested with fleas, and suffering from bacterial infections in both eyes. Scooter’s front left leg was so badly injured that it was later amputated. On top of all this, Scooter also tested positive for FIV, an incurable virus most commonly affecting free-roaming cats. That’s when a BAAC employee stepped up to adopt this precious boy, and today he lives a happy life surrounded by a family who loves him.

While Scooter suffered immensely during his time as a stray, he is one of the lucky ones. Millions of free-roaming and stray companion animals are struck by vehicles, succumb to extreme temperatures, or are ravaged by starvation and disease. Many of them never reach an animal shelter, and those who do are not always adopted. As shelters fill and overfill, facilities must close their doors to new intakes or begin euthanizing to make room for new arrivals. Current estimates indicate that 11,000 dogs and cat are euthanized in animal shelters every day in the U.S.

Fortunately, there is a solution. In addition to animal adoption, commitment to spay and neuter as a society is the only way to stop the crisis of animal overpopulation. In observance of National Prevent-A-Litter Month, NHES would like to encourage you to take the following steps to prevent a litter, and save a life:

  • Make sure every animal in your care is spayed or neutered as soon as possible. Kittens can become pregnant at 4 months of age, while puppies can become pregnant between the ages of 5-6 months, depending on breed. Most puppies and kittens can safely be spayed or neutered at 2 months of age.
  • Help others by supporting a reduced-cost spay and neuter program. NHES operates Spay Today, which provides subsidized spay/neuter surgeries for pet owners in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
  • Share the facts about spay and neuter. NHES offers educational brochures online! Download and print unlimited copies for free, or pay only flat-rate shipping to have brochures mailed to your door.
  • Help with local Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) efforts. Within a TNR program, feral cats are captured in a humane trap, spayed/neutered and vaccinated, and returned unharmed to their original location. Some TNR projects are implemented through nonprofit groups, while others are operated entirely by residents of a community. Be sure to first contact your local animal control office to learn about your community’s laws regarding TNR.
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2 responses to “Prevent a Litter, Save a Life.”

  1. Trevor Hall says:

    I like that you elaborated on why you need to spay or neuter your animals. There are so many animals in shelters right now that need to be adopted. There will always be kittens and puppies being born so controlling the population more will help those shelter animals live happy lives.

  2. Tonya Curtis says:

    Thank you for taking the time to make a comment because you are absolutely correct. There will always be lots of kittens and puppies. I volunteer at Furry Friends which is a non-kill cat rescue organization and I personally work with all the adult cats which I absolutely love!!!! In fact I will never adopt a kitten again since I see how many amazing and wonderful adult cats there are that need homes.

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