LUMBERTON — Dog and cat owners can have their pets spayed and neutered at a discounted price beginning Tuesday and continuing through next week.
The Robeson County Veterinary Medical Association’s semiannual Spay/Neuter Improve Pets program, whose goal is to reduce the population of stray and unwanted pets in Robeson County, will end on Sept. 15.
Prices have been lowered during the event. Fees will be based on pet weight, surgery needed, and the use of anesthesia. Any additional medical needs, such as pain pills, aren’t included in the price. If an animal hasn’t been vaccinated against rabies, a vaccination will be a treatment requirement.
The spay/neuter procedure normally costs as much as $150, depending on the size and breed of the animal. All pet owners qualify for the discount regardless of income, and the owner doesn’t have to live in Robeson County.
“We’re trying to be fair and not single out anyone because of their income,” said Dr. David Brooks, of Pembroke Veterinary Hospital. “It’s our opportunity to do our part and stop unwanted pets.”
“A cat could have four or five litters of kittens a year,” Brooks said. “With their kittens having kittens, in one cat’s lifetime she could have 40 litters. That’s thousands of cats.”
For people who think they can’t afford the fee, there is an income-based state voucher system to pay the cost. Voucher applications can be submitted at the animal shelter in St. Pauls or with the Humane Society in Lumberton.
Procedures will be offered at Robeson County’s five animal hospitals by appointment only during the SNIP program. Pet owners can call their local veterinarian to make an appointment and to learn the price.
In addition to Pembroke Veterinary Hospital, which can be reached at 910-521-3431, the participating clinics are Baird’s Animal Hospital in Lumberton, 910-739-4998; Southeastern Veterinary Hospital in Lumberton, 910-739-9411; South Robeson Veterinary Hospital in Fairmont, 910-628-7178; and North Star Veterinary Hospital in Parkton, 910-858-2525.
The SNIP program takes twice a year, during September and March.