Park County has more homeless pets than willing adopters. Many of the cats and dogs filling local animal shelters would make good companions, but often times, they must wait weeks, months — or years, in rare cases — before going to a new home.
Both Powell and Cody have no-kill animal shelters, so cats and dogs wait as long as it takes until they’re adopted. While we’re glad animals’ lives are spared, it’s a costly commitment.
With private donations down in a sagging economy, the Park County Animal Shelter in Cody has sought additional money from local governments. While Park County commissioners have agreed the shelter provides a necessary service, they denied its requests for additional funding last July and then again in November.
However, commissioners recently approved $2,000 to help fund the shelter’s free spay/neuter clinic for up to 160 cats. During the March 31- April 1 clinic, cats will be fixed at no charge and receive shots for rabies and distemper.
Intended primarily for feral felines, the clinic will help Park County take control of its growing problem of homeless and wild cats.
In addition to the free clinic this spring, some veterinarians around the Big Horn Basin will provide discounted rates for spaying and neutering animals in February.
Sterilizing pets is the best option for reducing the unwanted animal population.
Last fall, two county commissioners suggested the Cody shelter consider euthanizing animals that aren’t adopted to reduce costs. If the number of unwanted cats continues to grow, shelters may have no choice in the future. We would rather see the issue avoided altogether by residents spaying and neutering their pets.
Let’s all do our part to ensure unwanted litters don’t perpetuate the problem — so that every pet has a home.