It’s been a busy month at the Humane Society of Harrison County, with new additions like Mia, Letty, and Elena coming in every week. But when it comes to spaying and neutering, shelter officials say the earlier the better once they get to a certain age.
“It is kitten and puppy season. We have not had as many puppies lately, but we know that they will soon be rolling in. Kitten season is in full force. We are currently full on kittens,” said Frankie Dennison, executive director of the Humane Society of Harrison County. “We want to let people know that cats can start having kittens when they are kittens. They can have them as young as four months old. Dogs can get pregnant as young as five or six months.”
So in order to decrease that chance of overpopulation, Dennison said the shelter will spay and neuter animals as young as six weeks old.
“The reason we like to do the juvenile spay and neuter is that you have no extra litters coming into the world and they heal faster,” said Dennison. “I’ve read a lot of research on it, and I’ve heard a lot of things. I think it’s just new to West Virginia. I believe that since other states have done it for so long, and it has worked so well, I think it’s a great practice.”
The Humane Society has its own surgical suite on site and brings in Doctor Audra Henderson every week to perform the procedures.
“We usually keep them for a day or two to monitor them, to make sure they come out of the anesthesia and that they’re not pulling their stitches out. That way, if they’re pre-adopted, they’d be able to go home in the next day or two to their new families,” said Dennison.
To ensure that every animal is spayed or neutered before he or she is placed in a home, the shelter relies on donations and fundraisers like next month’s “Hogs for Dogs.” Dennison says she’s confident these three babies will be adopted once they’re ready …. but that others may not be as lucky.
“That’s why the spaying and neutering is so important because sadly, the ones we can’t pull will get euthanized at animal control. It’s a sad reality,” said Dennison.