Source: The Parsons Advocate (Extract)
Posted: June 17, 2024

The Tucker County Animal Shelter is now providing free spay/neuter services for cats, as announced by Shelter Director Stacey Canfield during the Tucker County Commission meeting on June 13th.

Canfield stated, “We have established a partnership with SNIP from Morgantown, West Virginia. They will be conducting free spay and neuter services for owned cats in Tucker County on a monthly basis.”

Canfield mentioned that the initial date on June 26th will be specifically designated for TNR (Trap Neuter Return) cats. This includes feral and farm cats eligible for the first spay/neuter clinic. Canfield clarified, “This first month, on the 26th, is strictly for TNR purposes. It applies to feral cats that cannot be domesticated or adopted out, as well as farm cats.”

According to Canfield, there are still spots available for the TNR day on the 26th.  “We have 15 spots open, we filled six of them,” Canfield said.  “So we still have a little bit of availability.”

Canfield mentioned that the program has the capacity to accommodate up to 50 cats per month during the clinic day. She expressed hope that many people would take advantage of the program to ensure its sustainability in the future. “Depending on the level of interest we receive, we can manage up to 50 cats in a single day,” Canfield explained. “We’re really eager to see full participation so that our partners continue supporting us in this initiative.”

Canfield explained that her department has had to collaborate with external resources because Tucker County lacks a local veterinarian. “We’re partnering with outside resources because we don’t have a vet in the county, and it costs at least $130 per animal just for spaying and neutering, not including vaccines and other essentials,” Canfield stated.

Due to the absence of a veterinarian in Tucker County, Canfield mentioned that her team has begun offering rabies vaccinations and microchip insertion services at the shelter, which are available to the public. “We’re now providing rabies vaccines and microchipping at the shelter to assist our community,” Canfield explained.

Additionally, Canfield noted that shelter staff have been conducting home visits to administer vaccinations to hunting dogs. “We’ve made several house calls to vaccinate hunting dogs on their own property, eliminating the need for owners to transport them,” Canfield stated.

Furthermore, Canfield mentioned that her office also offers home visits to vaccinate aggressive or reactive animals. “For animals like fearful, aggressive, or reactive cats and dogs, we’ll come to you for their vaccinations so you don’t have to bring them in,” Canfield assured.

Regarding local ordinances, Canfield explained that the regulations are designed to protect outdoor cats, especially those that have been ear-tipped, indicating they have already been spayed or neutered. “If you come across a cat outdoors with an ear tip, you should leave it be. However, if you trap a cat without an ear tip, please bring it to us,” Canfield advised.

Canfield emphasized that spayed or neutered cats are less likely to exhibit aggressive behaviors or contribute to the feral cat population. “Ear-tipped cats are not mating, fighting, or spraying on property,” Canfield clarified.

Even owned animals are subject to Tucker County’s Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) ordinance, according to Canfield. “Any report of a nuisance cat, whether owned or not, without an ear tip requires TNR under local law. Bring such cats to us immediately, and we’ll spay or neuter and release them back,” Canfield stated.

Canfield explained that anyone filing a complaint about a nuisance cat only needs to monitor the trap and inform her office once the cat has been captured. “We’ll handle the rest. Just let us know when something is caught in the trap,” Canfield said.

To identify an ear-tipped cat, Canfield advised looking for a flat top on one ear where the tip has been surgically removed.