Dr. Shannon Jensen performs one of 46 sterilization surgeries as part of a trap-neuter-release project in Chappell on Monday, May 28.

PC Vet Hospital spays/neuters 46 cats as part of Humane Society project

Dr. Shannon Jensen and Vet Tech Jess Bollinger of Perkins County Veterinary Hospital spent their Memorial Day spaying, neutering and vaccinating 46 cats through a Humane Society trap-neuter-return project. 

A ranch owner in Chappell reached out for help after realizing she could not keep up with the basic needs of what she estimated were 150 cats. Four horses and four dogs also share the property.

She was going through 75 pounds of cat food every three days, and her property had become a place for neighboring communities to dump unwanted cats. 

Representatives from the Humane Society of the United States worked in partnership with the Nebraska Rescue Council (NRC) to create a coalition of animal welfare professionals to address the cats’ needs.

“We are pleased that the caretaker of these cats reached out for help. Many of these cats, having been dumped on her property, had likely never been handled and required veterinary attention,” said Jocelyn Nickerson, Nebraska state director for the Humane Society of the United States. 

Dr. Jensen was contacted by Joining Forces Saving Lives of Lincoln, a group she has been very involved with since starting Perkins County Animal Shelter. She also treated the owner’s horse a few years ago.

Melissa Money-Beecher, NRC member and Joining Forces Saving Lives executive director said they are often called upon to assist with cat colony projects in rural communities and are happy to work collaboratively to save these animals. 

A mobile unit, SNOW (Spay/Neuter on Wheels) was provided by Colorado Animal Welfare League (CAWL) and brought by CAWL president Lisa Petri. 

“We bring these clinics to rural towns where pet overpopulation is rampant due to lack of low cost spay/neuter services. And, this is, by far, one of the largest trap-neuter-return projects we have assisted with to date,” said Petri.

Dr. Kenneth Cook of Sidney and volunteers from Fur the Love of Paws of North Platte  and the Humane Society also assisted in the project. 

Joining Forces held a fundraiser for the project to fund the SNOW and compensate the vets. 

“We are grateful for the local rescue and shelter groups working to support the efforts to improve this situation and help this initiative for the animals,” said Nickerson.

Jensen said most of the 81 cats that were spayed or neutered had to be caught in live traps because they were not friendly enough to handle. The cats were sedated through the traps for Jensen to perform the sterilization surgeries. 

After surgery the cats went to Bollinger, who gave them their vaccinations, pain meds, antibiotics and fluids. The cats were kept in crates overnight until they could be released the following day. 

Jensen said it was interesting to see how the mobile unit was set up and what they do the same and differently in a regular practice. 

“I didn’t know if I could even physically do 46 cats in one day,” said Jensen on the number of spay/neuters she completed. On a regular spay/neuter day, she completes 15-20.

She and Bollinger left Grant at 7 a.m. Monday morning, May 28 and arrived back in Grant around 8:30 p.m.

Dr. Cook performed the surgeries the following two days. 

At least 15 kittens and their nursing mothers were transported to affiliate rescues and shelters for rehabilitation and adoption.

The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

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