Clinics help curtail feline overpopulation

Dr. Colette Bergam performs surgery on a pregnant female cat taken from a feral colony during a spay and neuter clinic Feb. 21 in Hermiston. Volunteer Barbara Rincon and Becky Hoel, a veterinary assistant, are also pictured. <BR><I>Photo contributed by Cindy Spiess</i>

With the state of the economy, the already troublesome issue of unwanted animals comes to the forefront - often resulting in animal over-population.

Cats Galore, of Milton-Freewater, and Pet Utopia, of Pendleton, have worked together to host low-cost spay and neuter clinics throughout the county. Both organizations receive grant funds to sterilize feral and stray cats.

Pet Utopia recently received a grant from The Handsel Foundation for mobile spay and neuter surgical equipment that is made available to any city in the region wishing to utilize it for low-cost clinics.

Currently Dr. Colette Bergam, of Spokane, has utilized the equipment in Pendleton and Hermiston for four clinics and in Walla Walla for one clinic. During a Feb. 21 clinic in Hermiston, 80 cats were altered.

The event was organized by Phyllis Brewer, who owns the Doggy Day Spa, along with several local volunteers. Bergam and her "Lickety Snip" crew are planning one-day clinics in the Heppner and Boardman areas. So far, the clinics have focused on felines, but dog clinics are on the horizon.

Call 278-2287 for information about upcoming clinics and available assistance in Eastern Oregon and Western Washington.

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