Have a cat or dog that needs to be sterilized? Have a kitten or puppy that is close to sexual maturity? Don’t be fooled. Many animals, ESPECIALLY cats, can reproduce earlier than one might expect. NIP IT IN THE BUD NOW! Mark your calendar for Tuesday, January 8, 2019. What – Super low-cost spay-neuter assistance for low-income pet owners. Where – Going to the Dogs Thrift Store at 2317 Highway 62 West in Pocahontas. When – 10 am – 2 pm on Tuesday, January 8. Please read on.

This program is for pet owners in Randolph AND Lawrence Counties. BOTH Randolph County Humane Society and Five Rivers Animal Aid will be distributing vouchers on the same day. This super low-cost spay-neuter program is made possible in part by grants to both groups from the Arkansas Animal Rescue Foundation.

Applicants MUST provide proof of income at time of application. Co-pay is based on income. Maximum total household allowable income is $45,000. Income includes any and all social security benefits for all family members, survivors’ benefits, supplemental security income, disability, veterans’ benefits, alimony, child support, and any other kind of income.

Vouchers are valid for one month. In the event of inclement weather on January 8, vouchers will be distributed the following week, January 15.

A spokesperson for the local humane society said this week, “This program is an effort to help prevent early spring’s unwanted litters of both kittens and puppies. Let’s act responsibly and do what’s right for our pets and for the entire community by getting ALL of our pets fixed.”

If not spayed, a cat can go into estrus (commonly called “heat”) sometimes as young as four months and older, seasonally in the spring and fall. If the cat isn’t impregnated while in heat, you can expect another cycle to follow in two to three weeks, and repeat through the season. Anyone who has ever had a house cat in heat knows how horribly annoying it can be. Why bother with it? Why risk an unwanted litter of kittens? Here are common signs a cat is in heat:
• Excessive vocalizing and yowling, sometimes to the point of sounding like the cat is in pain.
• Excessive affection. Your cat may rub around your ankles, against furniture, door frames, and so on, using her scent glands to advertise her availability.
• An indoor cat will try to slip outdoors at every opportunity.
• Excessive licking of the genital area.
• “Commando crawling”: A cat may flatten its front quarters close to the ground, stick its rear end in the air, then crawl along the floor in this posture.
• Spraying. Female cats may urine-spray objects around the house while in heat – again, advertising her availability.