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Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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It's time to kill death as a solution
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Sunday, February 17, 2013

By HOLLY KOZELSKY - Bulletin Accent Editor

Have you been seeing strange blue yard signs with an image of a hand and a paw and the letters “NKMHC 2015”?

The reason its message is so mysterious is to keep people curious enough about it to ask their neighbors what it means — which hopefully will prompt some thought-provoking discussion.

I’ll spill the beans here, though. The acronym stands for “No Kill Martinsville-Henry County (by) 2015.”

Leslie Hervey, the executive director of the SPCA, said our local animal shelters are getting pretty close to achieving that official designation.

No-kill communities have euthanasia rates of 10 percent or less of animals with potential as pets brought into all shelters in those communities. The designation is made by a national organization.

Getting that designation falls upon all of us.

The SPCA has some pretty good safety nets to help us be “no-kill.” That includes low-cost neutering and pet clinics.

It also is the place to go to adopt an affectionate, fun-loving pet who is healthy and neutered.

The SPCA will help prevent overpopulation of stray and feral animals in your neighborhood, while still letting those animals live.

“SPCA will fix anything in a trap for free,” Hervey said. It also will give that animal rabies shots.

That means all you have to do is borrow a trap from the SPCA to catch that needy and frightened street cat you put out food for. The SPCA will spay her for free, and you can let her back loose. The same goes for barn cats.

Call the SPCA at 638-7297 to make arrangements.

It does not mean we can just dump our kittens and puppies on the SPCA’s door step and expect it to fix our problems.

Last year, the SPCA, city and county shelters took in 2,497 animals, Hervey said.

Don’t assume the SPCA will take care of your animals for you. The waiting list for kittens to enter the shelter in 2012 was 16 pages long, Hervey said.

It’s a whole lot easier to spay one cat now than try to give away six or eight kittens in the summer.

Spaying and neutering turns animals into better pets. It makes them much less aggressive. It takes away their desire to mark their territory (your furniture) with urine. They’ll be less likely to wander. It even lowers instances of some types of cancer.

Spaying and neutering “generally makes for a calmer, nicer pet,” Hervey said.

It’s exciting when the chill of winter starts giving way to the gentle warm days of spring.

For pet owners, the change of season means something else: cats and dogs start reproducing. Anyone who got a kitten or puppy last year should be making an appointment go get that pet altered now.

Animals can be spayed as young as 5 months or as small as 3 pounds, Hervey said.

It takes an entire community to achieve and keep a No-Kill designation. A stitch in time certainly saves nine, when it comes to spaying or neutering.

“Have the pound or the SPCA be the last resort” for getting rid of unwanted animals, Hervey said.


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