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Local cats shipped to Sacramento for spay/neuter services

Special to the Tribune

This week we will celebrate the 500th free-roaming cat rescued from certain death at Contra Costa County Animal Services (CCAS) since the inception of our Return to Field (RTF) program in November 2014. It’s pretty sad to consider that we need to take these cats from CCAS and transport them all the way up to Sacramento simply to get spay/neuter services performed. This problem is just a microcosm of a much larger dilemma that our county has: a lack of affordable spay/neuter services.

We sustain our RTF program by taking numerous cats to Sacramento at once. We are able to get at least three times as many cats spayed/neutered for the cost of the same service in Contra Costa County. At some point, either the new and improved Animal Services Director will find a way in their $10,000,000-plus budget to perform these services or our community will need to create a new spay/neuter clinic.

It’s very common for us to receive calls from residents in Contra Costa County regarding free-roaming cats. Usually what people are looking for is help. They are aware of cats in their yard, perhaps they’ve begun feeding these cats. Now there are more cats. They can’t touch these cats, yet they’ve gained the cats’ trust. They want the reproductive cycle to stop. They are fed up. They don’t want more cats. And they ask, “I can’t afford to get these cats fixed. What do I do?”

Sadly, CCAS has no answer for them. Sadly, rescues have their own limited availability to low cost resources as well as a limitation on money to pay for it. Most rescue groups who are helping our community with free-roaming cats do not charge for their services. Period. We are doing this work all on the generosity of donors. Why? Because it’s a problem and it needs to be addressed in a humane manner. Even if you don’t like cats you can do something to help. So please, contact your Board of Supervisors and tell them how you feel about the lack of available spay/neuter resources.

• District 1, John Gioia, (510) 231-8686
• District 2, Candace Andersen, (925) 646-6067
• District 3, Mary Nejedly Piepho, (925) 252-4500
• District 4, Karen Mitchoff, (925) 521-7100
• District 5, Federal Glover, (925) 427-8138

Outcast Cat Help is a 501c(3) California non-profit organization dedicated to helping the community humanely control and care for the stray and feral cat population.

OCH is 100 percent volunteer operated with no paid staff.
They help the “outcast cat” … the cat nobody owns, that lives on the streets or in your backyard, or behind the restaurant.

They provide low cost spay/neuter and vaccinations for these cats. Other services are also available.

For further information, call OCH at (925) 231-0639, visit outcastcat.org or facebook.com/outcastcathelp, or email outcastcat@outcastcat.org.

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