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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The North Peace SPCA has launched a free spay/neuter program for low-income cat owners. The program will be offered thanks to funding from BC Hydro and the Northern Development fund.

“We are so grateful to be able to launch this much-needed program for the community. The cost of spaying and neutering procedures can be a barrier for some pet guardians. This new program helps families stay together, avoid unwanted cat behaviours and further problems down the road,” says Candace Buchamer, BC SPCA North Peace branch manager.

The BC SPCA is matching the grant funding to increase the number of animals that will benefit from the program. A total of $20,000 will fund 150 spay and neuter surgeries for owned cats from in the city of Fort St. John.

“Spaying and neutering prevents unwanted and unplanned litters, which contribute to cat overpopulation. Our small shelter has seen a significant increase in cat intake in recent years and we rely heavily on the BC SPCA Drive for Lives program to assist the amount of cats in need. Our hope is that this funding will start turning the tide.” Buchamer says.

In addition to receiving a free spay/neuter surgery, cats will be microchipped and cat guardians will receive a one-year registration to the BC Pet Registry. The Registry lists contact information for all microchipped pets, which can be used to reunite lost pets with their guardians.

Residents who are interested in participating in the program should contact the BC SPCA North Peace Branch at 250-785-7722 or come in person to the branch at 9311 81 Ave open Tuesday to Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The spay/neuter program is free but recipients will be asked to contribute $40 to the fund if possible, which will allow the SPCA to help even more animals through this program.

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