Shutdowns, physical distancing and unemployment have touched every part of our society, including needs for our pets. Veterinarians closed down all unnecessary surgeries for months in order to protect their staffs and preserve protective equipment and materials. Many people have reduced income or are unemployed and the choice to spay or neuter their cats may be put aside in order to pay bills or buy food. Others are feeding abandoned stray and feral cats and likewise can’t afford to take care of their colonies to prevent more homeless cats on the streets. No one wants to overburden our shelter and rescue systems with unwanted kittens who may end up abandoned.
Between January and June 2022, covering a large portion of time that contributes to “kitten season”, HCMT has 13 free and low-cost spay/neuter clinics scheduled for stray/feral and rescued/pet cats. You can have your male cat neutered for $45 or female spayed for $60. Surgeries include a state-mandated rabies vaccine.
If you are caring for community cats, HCMT hosts six clinics where feral cats are spayed or neutered and given a rabies vaccine absolutely free, and other clinics where the cost is $30 per surgery.
“HCMT has fixed exactly 27,868 cat spay/neuter surgeries since we started in 1998!” said Lisa Lendl-Lander, HCMT secretary, adding, “and we fixed 1,600 in 2021 alone.” With the reproductive lives of that many cats effectively put to an end, imagine how many other kittens didn’t, and won’t, end up out on the streets or in shelters?
Clinics fill up fast and registration at least two weeks ahead of time is required.
NO-CHARGE CLINIC DATES
- 1/29 – Pat Tickle in memory of her mother, Agnes Bytner
- 2/19 – In loving memory of Milton Lendl
- 3/19 – Alley Cat Rescue, Inc.
- 4/16 –SNIPP of Indiana, Pa.
- 5/7 – Grace H. Meinert Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation
- 6/4 –SNIPP of Indiana, Pa.
FAST TRACK CLINIC DATES
($35 PER FERAL – See below for other costs)
- January 15
- February 5
- March 5
- April 2
- April 30
- May 21
- June 18
More dates may be announced and dates are subject to change. Check www.homelesscat.org/clinic-info for the most up to date information.
Price include rabies vaccine, flea treatment, and ear mite treatment if necessary. Other vaccines and tests are also available at low cost.
Feral Cat Package (MANDATORY EAR TIP)
- FREE CLINICS: no charge
- FAST TRACK CLINICS: $35 male or female
Rescue/Pet Cat Package (NO ear tip)
- Male $45
- Female $60
Feral Cats vs Rescue Cats
A feral cat can’t be handled and will be returned to the outdoor location where it was trapped after surgery.
A rescue cat either has been or will be adopted as a pet after surgery. Only feral cats are eligible for No-Charge clinics. Both feral and rescue cats can be treated at Fast Track Clinics.
How to register for a clinic
All clinics are held at HCMT’s clinic at 207 Allegheny St, Tarentum, PA 15084. You must pre-register for any clinic. Walk-ins are not permitted.
By Phone: call 412-321-4060 and leave a message with your name and phone number. Someone will return your call and complete your pre-registration. HCMT is all volunteer and this may take some time.
By Email: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, number of spots you need and which date you are registering for. You will receive a confirmation email ONLY if you are registered.
Feral cats must arrive in a standard humane box trap (Havahart, Safe-guard, Tomahawk, Tru-Catch, etc.) for the safety of all involved. Rescue and owned cats can arrive in carriers, one cat per carrier. Each will be placed back in its carrier or trap for recovery after surgery.
Ready to reproduce at four months, two to four litters per year
Cats can begin reproducing as young as four months old. Typical unspayed female cat can have an average of two litters per year with an average of four. Her kittens can be ready to produce kittens four months after they are born.
But kittens can be spayed and neutered as young as two months, weighing at least two pounds, and even if they are born outdoors to a feral mother they can still be socialized to be adoptable and find homes, all those extra kittens never need to be born. Clinics in the spring and summer often treat over 100 cats at each clinic, roughly twice each month, and more with trapping and rescuing cats between clinics.
What is the Homeless Cat Management Team?
The Homeless Cat Management Team is a freestanding “Trap-Neuter-Return” (TNR) organization in the Pittsburgh region. Their mission is to lead the way in ending the overpopulation of companion animals in our region by providing high-volume, high-quality, low-cost sterilization. We also assist and support community cat caretakers who work with HCMT with trapping, transportation, cat food and shelter and veterinary care. Volunteers also assess all kittens and friendly cats HCMT has rescued for adoptability and socialization, and after spay/neuter and age-appropriate vaccines offers them for adoption through their sister organization, a network of volunteer foster homes called Pittsburgh C.A.T.
Volunteer for clinics
HCMT also needs volunteers for clinics, up to 20 per clinic for various duties and different shifts, with most of them not requiring medical training. On the website you’ll find a link to the signup to volunteer for any of the clinics that are scheduled. Volunteer help is appreciated in other ways too, like helping with the laundry that’s produced with all the sheets, blankets, beds and other items used in the clinic. Call Homeless Cat Management Team hotline and leave a message, 412-321-4060 or visit www.homelesscat.org to find more information and to find links to our Facebook groups.
Support, donate and sponsor
The free clinics are free because of $1,500 sponsorships by one or more donors. Consider sponsoring one this coming spring, yourself, your business or an organization—send an email with your contact information and details to email@example.com.
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Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
Great Rescues Day Book:
Portraits, Rescue Stories, Holidays and Events, Essential Feline Information, All in One Book
Each month features one of my commissioned portraits of a feline or felines and their rescue story along with a kitty quote on the left page and on the right page the month name with enough lines for all possible dates, with standard holidays and animal-themed observances and events. Great Rescues also includes a mini cat-care book illustrated with my drawings including information on finding strays or orphaned kittens, adopting for the first time or caring for a geriatric cat, a list of household toxins and toxic plants, or helping stray and feral cats and beginning with TNR.
Each book includes also 10 sheets of my “22 Cats” decorative notepaper with a collage of all the portraits in black and white so you can make your own notes or write special notes to friends.
The portraits in this book, collected as a series, won both a Certificate of Excellence and a Muse Medallion in the 2011 Cat Writers’ Association Annual Communication Contest, as well as the 22 Cats Notepaper mentioned below.
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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Weekly schedule of features:
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Thursday: New Merchandise
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!