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Dakin ‘Beat the Heat’ program urges early spaying

LEVERETT — Warmer weather may be months away, but Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society is asking pet owners to “beat the heat” by spaying all female cats in advance of their reproductive cycles.

Dakin is hoping to prevent unwanted litters from being born this spring.

According to Candice Lash, Dakin spokeswoman, animal adoption centers and shelters commonly refer to spring as “kitten season,” because that is when they receive the largest influx of unwanted litters.

Lash said that many kittens can be difficult to adopt.

To help reduce the number of homeless cats born this spring, Dakin is offering a special “Beat the Heat” promotion, which is being sponsored by PetSmart Charities.

During all of February, the clinic will spay 250 female cats for a special rate of $20.

Spaying is safe for kittens as young as 8 to 10 weeks old, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Spaying a female cat before her first heat cycle is more beneficial than waiting until after one heat cycle has occurred, said Lash, who said the procedure is known to improve the health of a cat, including reducing risk of certain reproductive cancers and infections.

“Female cats can have as many as three litters a year, and kittens can breed as young as four months old,” said Leslie Harris, executive director of Dakin.

The special rate of $20 is less than the price Dakin typically offers low-income cat owners.

Cat owners must make an appointment with Dakin to have their felines spayed. All spays will be done at the Springfield facility.

To schedule an appointment, call 413-781-4019.

For more information and directions to the Springfield facility, visit: www.dpvhs.org.

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