“People on lower income aren’t bad owners. They often just can’t afford these things.”
Those words come from Jane, a cat owner in Surrey who couldn’t afford to neuter her cat, Teddy. So Jane applied to our SurreyCats spay/neuter program, which offers free cat spay/neuter surgery to eligible owners.
“I am on disability so receive a very low monthly income,” explains Jane. “I was concerned about the cost of getting Teddy fixed after I adopted him. It was amazing to have the cost of getting him fixed covered by SurreyCats. It made such a difference to have that help.”
Teddy is one of 222 cats helped through our program so far this year, thanks in part to a $5,000 grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada to improve access to vet care.
I am a low income person who doesn’t want her kittens/cats to keep having babies, as there are so many other animals that need homes.
Jane and Teddy’s situation is not uncommon in our Surrey community. Many families know that spaying/neutering their feline companions is important—not only to reduce the number of homeless cats and kittens on the streets but also to improve their health—but simply can’t pay for the cost of surgery. We’re committed to helping these cat guardians. Since the program was created, we’ve spayed and neutered 1,544 cats in Surrey, helping more than 1,000 families with financial difficulties. Every family matters, and every cat counts.
Deanna, another cat parent in Surrey, knew she didn’t want her kittens to be parents themselves. Being a six-month-old male/female pair, Nero and Gemma were at an extremely high risk for pregnancy and needed to be neutered and spayed immediately.
“My financial situation was dire when SurreyCats helped me with my new kitties,” says Deanna. “Nero and Gemma are happy and healthy and, of course, benefited from the help, or we’d have kittens everywhere!”
Heather was in the same boat. She had a male, Bob, and two females, Coco and Princess, so the fur family was at risk to grow exponentially.
Mel was only four months old when she got into her first heat, and it got us by surprise.
“I am a low income person who doesn’t want her kittens/cats to keep having babies, as there are so many other animals that need homes,” says Heather. “SurreyCats helped me keep my animals since it is quite expensive to get them neutered/spayed. Now Coco, Princess, and Bob can play, sleep, and wander together without the worry of pregnancy happening.”
Cat spay/neuter surgery is the single most important procedure needed for pets in Surrey. Without this surgery, cats would breed continuously, producing multiple litters every year and contributing to the financial burden on pet parents and animal rescue organizations in the community. Our fundraising and program volunteers work hard all year to improve access to vet care for pet guardians who can’t afford it. And without funding from organizations like PetSmart Charities of Canada, we couldn’t help our community.
At four months old, Mel was one of the younger kittens to be spayed through the PetSmart Charities grant. Like many owners, Gabriela didn’t realize that kittens could become pregnant at such a young age.
“Mel was only four months old when she got into her first heat, and it got us by surprise,” she says. “Suddenly she got crazy, almost making us go crazy along the way, too. We were in a tight financial situation and paying for her spay so shortly after getting her was going to put us in an even more difficult situation, so the program helped us tremendously. Mel had amazing care, and we couldn’t be happier.”
The impact of the PetSmart Charities funding through our spay/neuter program is clear. We’re all making a difference. But because we love hearing from our cat parents, here’s one last story!
To my lower-income but cat-loving family, every dollar counts.
“Jeremo and my whole family have been doing very well since the successful neutering procedure,” says Min Lee. “He has been very healthy and happy after a short recovery period of time. To my lower-income but cat-loving family, every dollar counts. Your program has really helped a lot. Thank you very much for your constructive and helpful initiative.”