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File / Associated Press

Neuter for a Nickel signup begins Jan. 3

Statement issued Tuesday:

City of Fort Wayne – Animal Care & Control is offering for the fifth year, Neuter for a Nickel as part of the 18th annual Spay Day USA celebrated in February by humane organizations nationwide.

Neuter for a Nickel offers residents living in Allen, Adams, Noble, Whitley, Huntington, Wells and Adams counties the opportunity to schedule male cat neuter surgeries for up to seven male cats per household for just five cents per cat. The event will be held at Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control, 3020 Hillegas Road on February 11 and 12, 2012 with surgeries provided by contributing veterinarians.

Participants are asked to call on or after January 3, 2012 to schedule an appointment prior to the event at (260) 427-1244 (option 7). Neuter surgeries will be provided for male cats ages eight weeks and older on a first come bases.

The event is made possible through an all volunteer effort and with private donations to help the shelter prevent as many unwanted spring litters as possible. We are excited to announce the receipt of a grant from the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to assist those in need during this event with vaccines for their cats. The generosity of this national organization based in New York is allowing us to better the lives of at-risk cats through out our metro-regional area.

The shelter urges cat owners to spay or neuter their cats at the earliest possible age to prevent additional litters competing for homes. Last year Animal Care & Control handled 8,229 cats and kittens, while only 167 of them were ever claimed by their owners; 948 were adopted.

“Uncontrolled cat breeding accounts for the majority of animals surrendered to Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control and to shelters across the country. The problem can be solved easily by spaying and neutering pets,” stated spokesperson Peggy A. Bender.

The shelter expects to neuter 600 male cats during the two day event. Only male cats will be served by the program to account for the high volume. Donations to the program are urged by calling 260-427-1244.