The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia (HSNEGA) performed their 75,000th spay/neuter surgery this week.
Espresso, an 8-week-old black and white kitten, was the milestone surgery recipient on Thursday. Espresso was taken in through the No More Litters Program.
The surgery was performed in the Spay/Neuter Center for HSNEGA, which first opened in 2005 and offers surgeries on public animals with no residency or income restrictions, as well as offering services for rescue groups and animal welfare agencies.
"Litter after litter after litter of unwanted pets put out in to the community so increases the risk they'll wind up in a shelter and being abandoned or abused and possibly being euthanized," said Julie Edwards, executive director for the humane society.
Edwards said altered animals tend to be less aggressive and they tend to roam less. "And, a lot of people don't know that female dogs can get breast cancer if they're not spayed and male dogs can get the equivalency of prostate cancer in humans if they are not neutered. So there's definitely more benefits to being spayed and neutered than not," Edwards said.
Edwards said the spay/neuter issue was close to her heart and she was "incredibly proud" to see the clinic reach 75,000 alteration surgeries.
"It's not the thing that rescues are known for usually... people like to see the warm, fuzzy adoption stories and the heroic rescue stories, but spay/neuter truly saves lives on the front end. Hall County has one of the highest euthanasia rates in the state of Georgia and we are never going to adopt our way out of euthanasia. It's going to take a combination of proactive on the front end, by promoting spay/neuter and encouraging people to have their pets spayed and neutered, and also having rescue and adoption on the back end."
Currently, HSNEGA is offering $25 surgeries for male cats and dogs, all cats, and cats and dogs 4 months old and younger through a community grant from PetSmart Charities. Additional pricing and information on appointments in available on their website. Edwards added that summer is their busy season, and it may take additional time to schedule an appointment, as well as appointments may be booked further out.