HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Southern Pines Animal Shelter has gotten a grant from PetSmart Charities as part of a program to help reduce the number of stray cats in the Pine Belt.
It totals more than $13,000 and will be used during the month of April to provide free spay and neuter services for feral cats and kittens.
The program is called "Community Cat" and the goal is to decrease the homeless pet population at shelters during the spring, which is a peak breeding season for free-roaming cats.
"We have thousands of cats coming into the shelter each year and fixing these cats that don't have a person attached to them really helps cut down on the extra kittens," said Dr. Alicia Hatch, medical director for the Spay and Neuter Clinic at Southern Pines Animal Shelter.
If you'd like to participate in the program, you'll have to make an appointment and bring the animal to the clinic in a humane trap. Some are available for loan.
The grant also funds free rabies vaccinations for those cats.
Shelter staff hope to spay or neuter 300 animals as part of the program. Last year, a similar grant paid for about half that many to be fixed.
Nationwide, PetSmart Charities is providing more than $630,000 in grants this year to fund the "Community Cat" program.