KAPAA — Community cats are next in line for sterilization as September draws closer and with it the next step in the Animal Balance FIX Kauai project.
The organization has been to Kauai twice, once in 2017 when it sterilized more than 600 animals — owned and feral — and then in March when it sterilized more than 500 dogs and cats.
The third high-volume spay and neuter campaign is set for Sept. 3 to 14, and this time instead of focusing on owned animals, Animal Balance veterinarians are putting community cats at the front of the line.
“We will be focusing on community-cat colonies, but will also be taking appointments for some owned cats each day,” said Elsa Kohlbus, program director at Animal Balance.
Clinics will be set up in Kapaa at the All Saints Episcopal Church from Sept. 3 to 7, and then the team will move to Kilauea, where the clinic will be staged at a private residence.
And while community cats can get the surgery for free, Animal Balance is asking a $25 donation for owned-cat surgeries.
“They will have a limited number of appointments held for owned/pet cats, so if people are wanting to take their cat in to one of the locations they should make an appointment early,” said Diann Hartman, a member of the Kauai Humane Society board of directors.
She pointed out Animal Balance veterinarians won’t be doing dog surgeries while they’re on Kauai on this third spay and neuter campaign.
Animal Balance’s goal is to create population control programs for cats and dogs that are community based, and veterinarians with the organization have been to Cuba, Aruba, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Barbuda, Cabo Verde, Trinidad, the Galapagos Islands and on islands in Hawaii, performing surgeries.
They partner with organizations in each location to stage sterilization clinics and bring veterinarians from around the world to do surgeries, as well as support staff. Animal Balance has been working with partners on Kauai to establish sustainable and humane population-management solutions for the community cat population.
The project on Kauai is being held in partnership with Kauai Community Cat Project and Kauai SPCA, with support from the Petco Foundation.
Previously, Animal Balance partnered with Kauai Humane Society and Alley Cat Allies.
Animal Balance is asking for volunteers to help with campaign logistics, registration and recovery, and providing lunches for the team.
Animal Balance also welcomes information from community cat caregivers or anyone who might need assistance trapping and sterilizing large colonies of cats in Lihue, Kapaa or the Hanalei area.
Interested volunteers, those who would like to set up an appointment for owned-cat sterilization, or those looking for more information, can email email@example.com.
••• Jessica Else, environment reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or firstname.lastname@example.org.