Jackson County residents who want to spay or neuter their cats but also want to avoid the potential $100-plus bill can have the procedure done for $25 through Oct. 31.
The Tom & Mom Cat Program, sponsored by the nonprofit organization Spay/Neuter Your Pet, will offer low-cost fixes through October.
Certificates for the SNYP-sponsored spay/neuter October event are available at the Mini Pet Mart, 1801 Stewart Ave., Medford, Jackson County Grange Co-ops and the Grants Pass Grange Co-op.
Certificates, redeemed at appointments set with one of several local veterinarians on the certificate's back, are available at the Mini Pet Mart, 1801 Stewart Ave., Jackson County Grange Co-ops and the Grants Pass Grange Co-op.
SNYP officials said cats that are too young for the procedure — younger than four months — can be scheduled through December, but the appointments must be made during October.
Event officials said they hope the program will make a dent in the area's feral cat population.
"We're no longer able to ignore it," said Sally Mackler, SNYP director. "It's certainly (not) just for this area. It's everywhere."
It can also happen fairly quickly. Cats aged four months and older can have a litter of kittens every three months, which compounds the problem at a rapid rate, officials said.
"People are unaware that what they consider a kitten can have a litter," Mackler said. "It's like a powder keg. It's absolutely overwhelming."
She added that spay and neuter procedures make for healthier animals, too. Animals that have the procedure done avoid uterine infections and certain types of cancer. They also make for friendlier pets that stay closer to home, Mackler said.
"(They) will not be driven by hormones to find a mate and breed," she said. "They make for much better neighbors all the way around."
The Mom & Tom Program has been an annual event for at least the last 10 years. Historically, the event has provided the procedure for 500 to 600 cats each year.
"They've been pretty popular right from the get-go," Mackler said. "The economy, I think, has influenced them as well."
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.