One of the most important ways to be part of the solution of pet overpopulation is to spay or neuter your pets, especially cats and dogs. Local shelters have to put to sleep thousands of dogs and cats every year simply because there are more shelter pets than there are adopters. If you have not gotten your pets fixed yet, please know that help is available to make it very affordable. Please do not wait, because even one unwanted litter adds to the stress of the overwhelmed shelters and rescue groups in our area, and that means more animals are at risk for euthanasia, starving or being hit by cars as strays, or even being used in dog-fighting rings. There is plenty of research online about the benefits of fixing your pets, but the biggest reason is that your pet lives a longer, healthier life and it will not be having unwanted litters.
If you are a resident of Calcasieu Parish and receive any type of public/federal assistance, such as Medicaid, SSI, Food Stamps, etc you qualify for their "low cost spay/neuter voucher program". Also, college students are eligible for this same program. All you do is go to Calcasieu Parish Animal Services (CPAS) at 5500-A Swift Plant Rd and complete a short 1-page form and provide proof of the assistance you receive. The shelter staff will show you a list of local veterinarians that participate in this spay/neuter program and you can choose which veterinarian you want to use for the surgery. The shelter staff can even call and make the appointment for your while you are there. CPAS gives you a paper "voucher" that you bring with you to the veterinarian's office on the day of surgery for your pet, and you pay a copay of $10 per cat or $20 per dog. Wow! That makes spay and neuter so affordable, that all pet owners in Calcasieu Parish can take advantage of it. There are limited funds for this program each year, so call 337-721-3730 to make sure funds are still available and get your pets fixed as soon as possible. Male kittens and puppies can usually be fixed by 4 months old and females should be fixed by around 5 months old to prevent them going into heat at 6 months old. Note that all dogs are required to have rabies vaccinations by 3 or 4 months old and you will be required to have the vaccine done at the time of spay/neuter if you have not already done so, but you can bring their rabies certificate with you to show the vet staff.
If you don't receive public assistance, do not fear, because there is another way to get discounts on spaying and neutering of your pets. SPAY USA is a wonderful nationwide program that has veterinarians in every state that participate in providing reduced cost spay/neuter services. For fastest response, simply call 1-800-248-SPAY (7729) and tell the person on the phone how many pets you need to get fixed, then choose one of the local veterinarians that participate with SPAY USA, and they will fax a "discount certificate" to the vet of your choice and all you have to do is call that vet to schedule your pet's surgery. The vet's staff will give you an idea of how much the surgery will cost based on your dog's weight, and they should give you pre-surgery instructions such as taking away the pet's food the night before surgery and what time to drop them off on the morning of surgery. Also, bring proof of rabies vaccine as stated above or prepare to pay for a rabies vaccine if your pet hasn't had one. The SPAY USA discount is definitely worth the phone call. The Lake Charles veterinarian offices that currently participate are: Southside Animal Hospital (337-564-6502), Bayou South Animal Hospital (337-480-1500), and Lake Area Animal Hospital (337-479-1199).
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