The low-cost spaying and neutering assistance program, also known as the SNIP grant, is offered to the public to assist those feeding feral colonies, those who cannot afford the regular cost of fixing cats/dogs, and to help gain control of the overpopulation of cats in the communities that we serve.
Last year alone, the Headwaters Animal Shelter issued 70 vouchers to families in our area.
With the help of our great veterinarian, Dr. Alan and Kathy Olander, we have been able to complete most of the surgeries that were requested for our feline friends. The surrounding veterinarians have also helped us complete surgeries for dogs in our county.
The vouchers that are issued are filled with opportunities for clients. The initial asking price, which is only $50, includes the surgery, a rabies/distemper vaccine and a deworming/ear mite treatment. Clients have the opportunity to microchip, test for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus, and do pre-anesthetic blood testing for an additional cost. Clients can get up to three vouchers per year, with a 30-day period to schedule the appointment with Dr. Olander. If this is not completed, the voucher(s) will expire.
There are many participating counties in Minnesota and other states that currently offer low-cost spaying and neutering. This list includes Hubbard, Hennepin, Meeker, Ramsey and St. Louis counties. Most of these offer more than one participating veterinarian. If you would like to participate in SNIP, please select the participating vet that is nearest to your location. Some of the participants have requirements, such as living in the same county, certain breeds and living in the same state.
For those who are interested in receiving a voucher, please call the Headwaters Animal Shelter at 218-237-7100. We are looking forward to serving our community this year!
Holly Packman is the cat manager for the Headwaters Animal Shelter.