Big Kitty Fix Part Of New Coalition
There is a local group working to control the overpopulation problem of pets in Dona Ana County. It is part of a newly organized coalition. The Big Kitty Fix is a group made up of volunteers working to control the overwhelming cat population in Dona Ana County. It's part of a new initiative recently organized by city and county leaders. "Our particular part of that project involves organizing and facilitating spay and neuter clinics, for cats only," said Michelle Corella, director of the project. They have already done two clinics where they fixed thirty cats at each one. Last year, 4,500 cats were killed in the local shelter. This is a number the group wants to reduce with the coalition. "From an animal lover's stand point that's horrific, but from a taxpayer's stand point it is also terrible when you consider that the average cost to euthanize an animal runs somewhere between 50 and 100 dollars. That's a huge amount of money in taxpayer dollars that could be spent elsewhere," she said. The group wants to educate the community about the importance of spaying and neutering their pets. "If you don't spay or neuter a male of a female you wind up with one of these little guys, and it's not just winding up with one of these little guys. If this were a female and she reproduced, and in this area cats can go into 5 or 6 heats, and if the average litter is 4 kittens you wind up with a kitty paradigm," said Ann Markman. Every member of the group plays an important role. "The reason why I got involved was to kind of curtail some of that involvement with reproducing and creating a lot of havoc in the neighborhoods," said Les Van Winkle, volunteer. The Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico is helping the Big Kitty Fix by allowing it to come under its umbrella. "We are a non-profit. They can do fundraising and donors who give money to the Big Kitty Fix, which I urge you to do, through the community foundation receive a tax reduction receipt for their tax records," said Luan Wagner Burns, director of the agency.