Melissa Smith and Morris

By: Michelle Poirier

Residents of Georgina who get their dogs and cats spayed or neutered can apply for a rebate from P.A.W.S. of Georgina, a charitable society that offers the rebate as an incentive for pet owners.

Although the Ontario SPCA spay and neuter program is closed, and veterinary clinics are only performing emergency procedures due to COVID-19, if you had your pet spayed or neutered before the pandemic started or you get the procedure done in the future, you can apply for the rebate. And if you had your cat spayed or neutered in March you will get a higher return due to the spring blitz promotion.  

“We offer a spring blitz (rebate) for cats due to the large overpopulation of cats, caused by irresponsible pet owners who allow their animals to run at large and don’t spay or neuter,” Trina West, President of P.A.W.S. of Georgina, said.

Although the clinics are closed, Ms. West said P.A.W.S. of Georgina will continue to offer the rebate. The rebate has been offered year-round to Georgina residents for the past 20 years.

“The rebate is funded by the Town of Georgina. As the town runs the shelter, they are aware that prevention is key to reducing overpopulation,” Ms. West said.

The Ontario SPCA are still allowing pet owners to put their pets on the waiting list for the procedure for when they are able to reopen. 

It is important to keep female cats indoors and away from unneutered male cats. Melissa Kosowan, Associate Director of Communications at Ontario SPCA, said there are a few things you can to do for your pet while waiting for the procedure.

Keep track of when your female dog starts and ends her heat, keep your dog on a leash and supervised so that male dogs cannot try to mate, and you can purchase doggy diapers to avoid any mess.

For male cats that are spraying, you can use enzymatic urine cleaners on the spot to prevent your cat from returning to this area  to spray, and use Feliway spray or diffusers to spray where your cat has urinated to signal to your cat that this area is not one where they should urinate.  

Melissa Smith, resident of Keswick, had her cat, Morris, neutered at the Ontario SPCA Centre Veterinary Hospital in Stouffville on March 3rd. She did not know that the rebate was offered to Georgina residents. She plans to send in a request to P.A.W.S. of Georgina to get a $50 rebate for having a male cat neutered during the “spring blitz”.

Most pet owners choose to get their pets spayed or neutered at the Ontario SPCA because they offer a lower price than a veterinary clinic. 

“As a non-profit organization, our spay and neuter services are designed to financially break-even. We are able to keep our prices as low as we do for several reasons, including focusing on spay and neuter surgeries,” Ms. Kosowan said.

Spay and neuter fees vary, depending on whether it is a dog or cat, and on the animal’s gender and weight. You can get more information about the rebate at www.pawsofgeorgina.com and about spaying and neutering your pet at www.ontariospca.ca. 

“Every year, thousands of dogs and cats in this province end up on the streets or in shelters as a result of pet overpopulation. Pet overpopulation is a direct result of animals left unaltered, which is why the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society are urging pet owners to have their cats and dogs spayed or neutered,” Ms. Kosowan said.

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