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MRFRS Catmobiles Reach Amazing Milestone

Here’s a haiku that we know you will enjoy:
 
Fifty thousand cats
spayed and neutered by our two
Catmobiles. ME-WOW!

 
CM2 Photo

When MRFRS first initiated the Catmobile program back in 2008, we had high hopes of making a contribution to reducing the persistent feline overpopulation problem in Massachusetts. But we never could have imagined that in fewer than 10 years, we would have performed 50,000 spay/neuter surgeries on owned and free-roaming cats throughout Eastern and Central Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire.
 
We reached that milestone in May, and have to thank our amazing Catmobile veterinarians, vet techs, call center staff and especially the wonderful clients who have brought their kitties to the Catmobiles over the past eight years for those spay/neuter surgeries. We also have been assisted by grants from many foundations that have allowed us to reduce our Catmobile pricing even further in areas or situations where the need is greatest.
 
Did you know that the Catmobile was part of a revolutionary movement in feline welfare to make high volume spay/neuter surgeries more accessible to cat owners? Former MRFRS Executive Director and current Board Member Stacy LeBaron tells the story:
 

“Back in 1998, Dr. John Caltabiano spoke at our annual meeting about his mobile spay/neuter clinic in Connecticut. When I heard him, I thought this was a game-changing idea and it always stayed in the back of my mind. Once MRFRS achieved the goal of purchasing our adoption center in 2003, our next big goal was adding the capability to provide help to owners who lack the resources to take their cats to a vet.
 
In 2008, we received a large donation from a private donor for a spay/neuter initiative. After doing a full analysis of all of our options, the MRFRS board voted on launching a mobile clinic. Dr. Deborah Brady, the lead vet, who had been donating her time to our Sunday spay/neuter clinics, was very interested in helping us launch this program. And so we were off in the fall of 2008.
 
Several years, later, MRFRS received a very generous grant from the Weiderhold Foundation that enabled us to purchase another vehicle. So Catmobile 2 hit the road in February 2012, doubling the number of cats and kittens we are able to reach.”

 

The Catmobiles rely heavily on word-of-mouth to broaden their client base, so anytime you can share our schedule and Facebook posts with your friends, you are playing an important role in the spay/neuter revolution by helping more cats get the surgeries they need, and reducing the number of cats coming into rescues and adoption centers.

 

For other ideas on how you can help spread the word about the Catmobiles in your community, feel free to reach out to our CM staff at 978-465-1940 or catmobile@mrfrs.org.

Ask the Vet, with Dr. Nicole Breda of the Catmobile

Q. Why does my indoor-only cat need to see the vet every year? Isn’t that only necessary if your cat goes outside?
 
A. The truth is, all cats should have an annual “wellness” exam, and senior cats should be examined every six months to safeguard their health.
 
The most obvious reason to visit your veterinarian on a yearly basis is to ensure your cat’s vaccines are up to date. Rabies, distemper, and FELV vaccines are all vaccines you can discuss with your veterinarian—but it is the law to have a valid rabies vaccine for your cat. Even indoor-only cats can come in contact with rabid animals, like bats, that can enter your house. Vaccines also protect your cat if he/she escapes the house and comes in contact with a rabid animal, not to mention preventing complicated rabies quarantine protocols if your cat comes home with a wound after an adventure outside.
 
A yearly visit to your veterinarian not only ensures that your kitty is vaccinated against deadly diseases, but also that they are not developing any underlying diseases. An indoor cat is still susceptible to diseases like diabetes, renal failure, hyperthyroidism, heart disease, and painful dental disease, to name just a few. These diseases are all manageable if caught early in the process. Therefore, having a veterinarian examine your cat once yearly—and your senior (8+) cat examined every six months—may catch issues before they become serious or even life threatening.
 
Remember, cats live much shorter life spans than humans—so a lot of things can change with their health in just one year!
 
Have a question you’d like to ask our vet? Email your suggestions to info@mrfrs.org and you just might see it in our next issue of Cat Currents!

Check Out the Catmobiles’ and MRFRS’s Amazon.com Wish Lists!

Interested in buying the kitties a present, but not sure what they need? Well look no further than our Amazon.com wish lists — one for the MRFRS adoption center, and one for our Catmobiles! And don’t forget to start your shopping at AmazonSmile so that a portion of the proceeds come to MRFRS, too! On behalf of the kitties, thank you!