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Letters to the editor – Tuesday (4-26-2011)

SNIP clinic offers assistance on Rowan spay-neuter issues
This time of year plays havoc with animal lovers and rescue groups whose goal is to save as many animals as possible from being euthanized.
Of course, irresponsible pet owners cause many of these deaths by not practicing spay/neuter on their own pets. Animal lovers and rescue groups in Rowan are overwhelmed with requests to rescue a litter of puppies or kittens because their owners failed to prevent their petís pregnancy.
However, some vets will not sterilize a feral cat without a costly test for feline leukemia. If the tests are positive, the cat is euthanized and another fee is added to the bill. Yet there is much evidence a cat with a positive test can live for years and not contaminate other cats. The test isnít mandated by N.C. law because other counties allow the owner or rescuer to return home with the cat by signing a waiver.
Fortunately, a veterinarian with the SNIP Regional Spay/Neuter Clinic in Mooresville, Dr. Elizabeth Broome, has agreed to help Rowan with this problem.
Dr. Broome referred me to one of the top veterinarians in the country, Dr. Julie Levy at the University of Florida. Dr. Levyís research found that feline leukemia tests arenít necessary for feral cats. They have about the same small incidence of these diseases as domestic cats, so she doesnít see it as a concern. Feline leukemia is primarily spread from infected mothers to their kittens, and feline immunodeficiency virus is usually spread among tomcats that fight. Sterilization is the single most important action to take to stop the spread of these infections. Dr. Levyís website, www.maddiesfund.org, has her report on this.
Dr. Broome advised me if any group has 15 or more animals to spay/neuter, SNIP will drive a truck to Salisbury for $25 additional and meet in any assigned area. Contact SNIP at 704-799-7647 or visit the clinicís website at www.snipclinicnc.com.
ó Rodney Cress
Salisbury
Cress is a longtime animal rescue volunteer and serves on the advisory board of Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary. He recently received the Governorís Volunteer Service Award for his work on behalf of military veterans as well as animals.

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