By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- One local organization is determined to help drive down the high feline-euthanasia rate in Brevard County by giving away dozens of free feline "fixes" for the 13th anniversary of "National Feral Cat Day."
On Wednesday, Oct. 16, PURRS (People Underwriting the Rescue and Rehab of Strays) and H.O.P.E. (Helping Overpopulation of Pets End) will provide free spaying and neutering of community cats.
"This is a big gift to the community," said Katherine McCoy, founder of PURRS. "As opposed to dispensing money on fixing these animals, this frees up money to be spent on people, who drastically need it."
Ms. McCoy said that the operations will be performed for the felines of qualified, pre-selected disadvantaged residents of Brevard County at Brevard Spay Neuter Clinic in Malabar.
The event, which is called "Dr. Connie's 5 Percent Solution," is in reference to the statistic that 5 percent of the human population is responsible for 85 percent of the pet overpopulation problem.
"We are aiming to reach that 5 percent of humans, who desperately need and want to have their animals fixed, so that uncontrolled breeding is curtailed, but cannot afford it because of economic circumstances," Ms. McCoy said. "Practicing 'Trap-Neuter-Return' is so much better than turning the healthy animal into the government system, whose policy is to kill ferals because they are not adoptable, (all at) the cost of $150 per cat of taxpayer dollars."
The charities are also asking for public support to ensure the maximum number of cats are helped by sponsoring one or more spay/neuter packages.
The packages include rabies and distemper shots, ear-tipping and flea and worm control.
"Each cat's medical care amounts to $52, (which is) a third of what the county would spend to end its life," Ms. McCoy said. "(It) will be entirely from private funds."
Donations of any amount can be sent to The Daphne Foundation, PURRS, P.O. Box 121265, Melbourne, FL, 32912-1265.
All donations are tax deductible.
PURRS was founded in April 2010, as a project of The Daphne Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity.
PURRS has provided spay/neuter/vaccination and emergency veterinary services for more than 2,000 of Brevard County's neediest animals.
Ms. McCoy said that, currently, only 30 cats total can be seen during the Oct. 16 event, but the organization is committed to extending this service to other days to help as many pet owners as they can.
The organizations are also looking for veterinarian volunteers to help with the service.
Brevard Spay Neuter Clinic is located at 2410 Malabar Road in Malabar. For more information, to qualify or volunteer for the service, call (321) 724-1141.