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LCARL receives grant for spay, neuter program

The Lawrence County Animal Rescue League has received $1,200 instate funds to assist with a new spay and neutering program.

Kim Brister, LCARL secretary, said the league was awarded themoney from the “I Care For Animals” Car Tag Program, which allowsMississippians to purchase a special license plate. Proceedsbenefit homeless, injured and abused animals by providing funds toanimal shelters and rescue programs throughout the state.

The Lawrence County league will use the funds to support a spayand neutering program begun last year, Brister said.

“It’s a program for low-income families and senior citizens whocould not afford to have it done themselves,” she said.

A spaying or neutering conducted at a veterinarian’s office istypically $65 or more, but qualified people need only pay $10through the new program, Brister said.

LCARL held its first event for dogs in November, when 10 femaleswere spayed. A follow-up event in March was limited to cats, withfive being spayed or neutered, she said.

Brister said she was disappointed in the number of animalstreated during the opening events, but believes the numbers willpick up as word of the program circulates.

“I’m going to try to have this as an annual event each Novemberand March in order to somewhat combat the overwhelming numbers ofunwanted puppies and kittens being born each day,” she said.

Not only does the operation prevent the pets from developingunexpected litters, but it can also extend the life of the pet,Brister said.

She cited both a female dog and a female cat that participatedin LCARL’s program that had infections in the uterus that could notbe seen by the naked eye and could have resulted in death for thepet. Both were helped during the spaying operation.

The same applies for males, Brister said.

Neutering decreases and often eliminates diseases that male dogsare prone to late in life, including diseases of the prostate,testicles and other tissues influenced by male hormones. Testicularand perianal gland cancers are the second and third most frequentlydiagnosed tumors in older dogs that have not been neutered.

Brister said there were a lot of myths associated with spayingor neutering a pet, such as behavior being adversely affected.

“That’s not true,” she said. “Male cats tend to reduceterritorial spraying and neutered dogs and cats fight less. Theyalso wander less because they aren’t as interested in pursuingfemales in heat.”