In addition to regular financial assistance to low-income residents for their cats and dogs and to the caregivers of feral cats, United Paws of Tillamook is adding a new service thanks to a north county veterinarian. The most effective way for United Paws to spend supporter donations is to have what are called “clinics,” when at least one veterinarian performs spay/neuter surgeries all day. United Paws is now able to hold such clinics approximately once a month for the pets of the economically disadvantaged and for those residents who care for feral cats. Regardless of income, anyone wishing to help feral cats may take advantage of this service. Trapping assistance and humane traps may be available, depending on volunteer and trap availability. In addition, if clients cannot take their cat or dog to the clinic, because they cannot drive or do not have access to transportation, volunteers will pick up and transport the animals to the clinic, then back home again.
Each clinic will focus on one part of the county: south, central, or north. United Paws is therefore calling upon all low-income residents with dogs or cats in need of spaying or neutering and all residents feeding feral cats who haven’t been sterilized to call the United Paws hotline and leave a message to make a reservation for an upcoming clinic: (503) 842-5663.
Not just spay and neuter
In addition to spay/neuter surgery, cats and dogs will receive pain medication and, if necessary, antibiotics. Cats will receive mandated inoculations as well as flea and ear mite treatment; and they’ll be wormed. Dogs will receive a distemper vaccination and will be wormed if necessary. Rabies inoculations for either dogs or cats are the responsibility of the owner or caretaker.
“A Trip to Snip!” is not free. United Paws will work with clients to establish an affordable fee, due when the client delivers the animal to the clinic or when the animal is picked up by volunteers. This is to ensure appointments are kept. The veterinarian is giving up one of his free days, so United Paws must ensure his time isn’t wasted as a result of no-shows. Another reason United Paws must ask for payment toward this service is that all funds to carry out United Paws’ programs are raised by volunteers through private donations from the general public, grants, fundraising events, and adoption fees. Volunteers receive no compensation, not even for gas. United Paws receives no financial support from the county or any national group, and not one cent goes to salaries. United Paws endeavors to get the most out of every dollar, and “A Trip to Snip!” guarantees that. The more clients using this service can pay, the more United Paws can help others who also need the program.
United Paws has been operating and offering critical animal services in Tillamook County since 2003. To date, United Paws has spayed and neutered more than 4,650 county cats and dogs who would not otherwise have been sterilized. The group has thereby reduced the number of unwanted and abandoned animals, as well as alleviated and prevented animal suffering as a result of homelessness. Since January 1, 2011, United Paws has sterilized more than 280 cats and dogs.
In addition to spay/neuter services, United Paws also runs Annie’s Emergency Fund to provide veterinary care for those animals in immediate need of help, such as to treat pain resulting from a traffic accident. In 2010, United Paws paid more than $61,000 to local veterinarians to cover spay/neuter and emergency services.