Spay & neuter clinic helps cut stray animal population

YAKIMA, Wash. -- A spay and neuter clinic is cutting the overpopulation of stray animals. It is those types of cases that highlight a growing problem across Central Washington.

All too often overbreeding means many homeless animals are left to fend for themselves. And in no place is this more obvious than a new spay and neuter clinic in Union Gap.

A dog or cat with no collar adds to a growing problem in these neighborhoods. Every day, an increasing number of homeless pets wander our streets with nowhere to go.

Thousands of those animals get turned into the Humane Society, but they're the lucky ones. Hundreds of homeless pets are found dead on the side of the road each year.

It's the reason why this spay and neuter clinic is so critical.

"I think that it's sad that the compassion of a society is how they treat their animals and so I don't think it can be questioned that it's a benefit," said Clinic Manager, Kim Morgan.

The goal has been to cut down on the number of stray animals in the Yakima and so far, it's worked. So far, the clinic has spayed and neutered more than 300 cats with plenty more to go.

"Strays that get hit, you have a possibility of zoonosis so they carry different parasites," said Kim.

The clinic received a $14,000 grant to do work on feral cats for free. But without help and donations, volunteers like Melissa Vanhorn said it'll be difficult to help with the stray problem.

"We can always use more volunteers," said Melissa. "More hands, more cats get done. Just things move smoother."

The clinic planned to spay and neuter cats at least ten times this year. They said they need at least eight volunteers each time.

Under 30-percent of Humane Society's animals are euthanized. Without the help local residents, the growing issue won't stop.

"Less kittens, less cats, less problems," said Melissa. "I know a lot of people have problems with feral cats. They're starting to hurt our bird population."

Keeping these animals off the streets is a step closer to taming the wild.

The next spay and neuter clinic will be on March 31st at the Ahtanum Veterinary Clinic.