LIHUE — The Kauai Humane Society will hit the road when it rolls out its mobile spay and neuter program next week.
“I think the more we spay and neuter animals, the fewer animals will enter into shelters,” said program coordinator and KHS Volunteer Coordinator Julie Werner.
The program will start again on July 15 and feature KHS staff veterinarian Dawn Ushio, who will perform surgeries for cats, dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs.
“It’s really needed,” Ushio said. “We still have problems with pet overpopulation with both the dogs and cats so I think it’s really great that we’re getting it back on the road.”
KHS Executive Director Penny Cistaro said the clinic will help Kauai.
“It’s part of our mission,” Cistaro said. “There are multiple reasons to do this for the community.”
Several years ago, KHS realized people had difficulty driving to the facility to spay and neuter their animals, so it created a mobile program to ease the burden of travel, Ushio said. But in 2013, the van broke down and after the KHS received a new one from Enterprise, it was too short staffed and didn’t have the money to rev up the program again.
The company Atherton and the Bissell Pet Foundation each donated $5,000 to KHS to help fund the spay and neuter mobile program. KHS is also seeking $20,000 to purchase more spay and neuter equipment for the program.
The spay and neuter practices will be priced the same as they are at KHS. Neutering for guinea pigs, rabbits and cats will cost $20 while spaying for the animals will be $40.
Neutering for dogs will be $50 while spaying prices will vary depending on the size of the animal. Spaying for dogs under 25 pounds is $50, $60 for dogs between 25 and 50 pounds and $80 for dogs over 50 pounds.
Those unable to afford the program can apply for financial assistance.
Surgeries will be limited to 20 per day.
The first two clinics will only be open to members of the KHS’s food bank program, Gomez’s Galley, and will take place in the KHS van at St. Catherine’s Church. Werner will be at St. Catherine’s Church today at 3:15 p.m. to help people register their pets for the clinic.
KHS will host the mobile clinic once a month until it’s helped all animals associated with Gomez’s Galley.
To become a Gomez’s Galley member, Kauai residents must agree to spay or neuter all of their pets and are asked not to add pets to their household.
KHS plans to move the clinic to other places around the island.
Werner hopes the mobile clinic is here to stay.
“I’m excited. I love animals,” she said. “I love working with them.”