COLD LAKE - The Lakeland Humane Society (LHS) is ready to SNAP to it.
SNAP, otherwise known as the Spay and Neuter Assistance Program, is coming to the city for the first time and will help residents who are tight on cash with spaying or neutering their pet cat.
“It’s something we’ve been trying to put together for the last couple of years,” expressed LHS shelter manager Nicole Mbanefo.
The local humane society has been trying to get a program like this off the ground running for quite some time, and it just so happens this is their lucky year.
“We’ve been looking at grant options to try and get it going. I happened to apply for a grant in September 2020 and we did get approved to run a spay and neuter assistance program,” Mbanefo expressed.
In addition to the grant funding they received from Four Feet Companion, they also saved up some of their own dollars and have allocated bingo and casino money as well.
In most cases, the funds from their bingo and casino events must be put toward a specific project, so Mbanefo applied for an exception.
“It fell under helping people in need, especially during COVID and with everything going on. It got approved, so we’re using some of those funds to help with this program,” she explained.
Since joining the LHS team, Mbanefo has wanted to put on a spay and neuter program.
“Cat overpopulation is a big problem almost everywhere across Canada, but the City of Cold Lake and the out-skirting communities have been having issues with stray cats for years now,” explained Mbanefo. “Unfortunately, there wasn’t really a program for this before. The humane society has always spayed or neutered all of the stray cats that come in here and don’t get claimed, but there are many other cats that are owned that haven’t been spayed or neutered and do unfortunately sometimes get out or roam around and unwanted or unplanned litters happen."
Now, LHS has partnered up with local vet clinics in order to make this happen.
On May 28, pet owners will drop off their felines at the humane society, who will then distribute them to the participating vet clinics.
At the end of the day, they can come and pick up their four-legged family member.
Space is limited so Mbanefo stressed the importance of getting your application in early.
“There is an admin fee of $25 just to cover the administrative process and we are asking that you register your cat with the city. You can do that at the LHS,” she said.
Applications are still being accepted until Monday.
Mbanefo said while Cold Lake applicants will be considered first, she encourages those living outside of the city limits to also apply, in case they have spaces to fill.
And although this year is aimed mostly at city cats, LHS has full intentions of running the program in the future with a more regional approach.
“We definitely plan to expand into the surrounding areas, possibly the MD of Bonnyville and maybe some of the other communities,” Mbanefo expressed. “We’ve never done anything like this before so we thought we would keep it simple with owned cats in the City of Cold Lake."
For more information, or to apply for SNAP, contact the LHS at 780-594-1896 or [email protected].