Veterinarians Partner with the Humane Society of Durham Region to Address Cat Overpopulation

TORONTO, July 31, 2012 /CNW/ - Forty-two volunteer veterinary clinics in the Durham region have partnered with the Humane Society of Durham Region to address the cat overpopulation problem. With the establishment of the new Spay/Neuter Voucher Program, the partnership will address the cat overpopulation problem by subsidizing the cost of spaying or neutering a cat or kitten for pet owners on limited incomes. The program seeks to reduce the number of cats and kittens being surrendered to the local humane society and to raise awareness of this growing animal welfare concern. The cat overpopulation problem is a direct result of cats roaming freely that are not spayed or neutered. The result of this unchecked breeding is that the local humane society ends up with more cats than it can adopt out.

"As veterinarians, we are in a unique position to improve animal welfare," says Dr. Susan Dorland, a local veterinarian and spokesperson for the program. "Solving the cat overpopulation problem won't happen overnight, but our goal is to raise awareness of the issue, and promote responsible pet ownership. The veterinary community is excited to partner with the humane society on this initiative because we share the same vision: to reduce the number of unwanted cats and participate in efforts to improve cat welfare in our community."

The new voucher program was inspired by a similar program in the Niagara region, and by the Farley Foundation, a charitable organization established by the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) that subsidizes non-elective veterinary care for pet owners on limited incomes. The Durham Region Spay/Neuter Voucher Program will provide spay or neuter vouchers to the following groups based on the Farley Foundation model: seniors receiving the Federal Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), disabled individuals receiving the Ontario Disability Support Payment (ODSP) or the Canada Pension Plan Disability payment (CPP Disability), and individuals receiving financial assistance through the Ontario Works program.

The program voucher entitles the bearer to bring their cat or kitten to any of the participating clinics where their pet will be spayed for $100 or neutered for $80. The program fees cover the cost of paying staff who assist during spay and neuter surgeries as well as pain medication at cost. Veterinarians participating in the program will provide their expertise, facility and services for free as program volunteers. The vouchers will be distributed by the Humane Society of Durham Region to all eligible recipients.

The Durham Region Humane Society will begin handing out vouchers as of August 2, 2012!

Founded in 1980, the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association represents more than 4,400 Ontario veterinarians in private practice, government, academia, industry and public service. Its mandate is to advance and promote excellence in the veterinary profession in Ontario, and contribute to the betterment of animal health and the protection of human health.

SOURCE: Ontario Veterinary Medical Association

For further information:

To request an interview or more information, please contact:
Melissa Carlaw, OVMA Manager of Communications & Public Relations
1.800.670.1702, ext. 15 or mcarlaw@ovma.org

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Ontario Veterinary Medical Association

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