Pet owners who have their animals ‘fixed’ will be given a $50 supermarket voucher in a new promotional push to help deal with the problem of unwanted dogs and cats filling the rescue shelter.
The George Town shelter has been forced to close its doors to new arrivals after warning that it was filled beyond maximum capacity. The Cayman Islands Humane Society has cautioned that some of the older, unwanted animals, many of which have been at the shelter for several years, may ultimately have to be put down as a last resort.
Now it is attempting to address the root of the problem in a new spaying and neutering initiative. The society will give a $50 voucher for Cost-U-Less to any pet owner who brings their dog or cat for the surgery on 15 and 16 May.
The surgery, which usually costs around $100, will also be offered for free as part of the promotion.
Carolyn Parker, director of the society, said spaying and neutering was the only way to deal with the problem of unwanted and stray animals that were coming into the shelter on a daily basis.
She said the expense of offering the promotion was comparatively small compared to the cost of keeping an animal at the shelter, in some cases for two years or more.
“I think this is worth a try. If we manage to get 100 animals fixed then that will really reduce the numbers coming into the shelter in the long term. We are offering this as an incentive to try to get to the core of the problem.”
The society announced earlier this week that it was full and could accept no more animals. It appealed to animal lovers to come forward and adopt some of the dogs and cats packed into the overcrowded shelter.
And directors took the step of reminding the public, through an advert in the Compass, that they did have the option of considering “humane destruction of sick and unwanted animals” in extreme cases.
The ad warned: “CIHS is struggling to cope with the volume of rescued and surrendered animals taken in at the shelter and is now operating well beyond capacity.. .the only option is to decline any further acceptances of animals to the shelter until the current situation can be remedied.”
The shelter is ‘constantly’ shipping dogs overseas to be adopted, while several have been adopted locally.
But Ms Parker says the efforts are offset by the number of dogs coming into the society on an almost daily basis. She hopes the voucher incentive will help the society make a dent in the number of unwanted animals roaming the streets.
Anyone interested can call the shelter on 949-1461 to book an appointment. To qualify for the offer the animal must be your own pet, be at least 12 weeks old and in good enough health to have the surgery.
There are other organisations, including the Cayman Animal Rescue Enthusiasts, which offer financial assistance for spaying and neutering.