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After 55,000 spay, neuter surgeries in 6-years Iowa Humane Alliance launches campaign to expand

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) — In just 6 years the Iowa Humane Alliance has performed 55,000 spay and neuter surgeries in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa City area and now they’re launching a big campaign to expand their pawprint.

The non-profit opened its door in 2013 as a first of its kind facility to offer low-cost, high-volume spay and neuter services.

Now, after increasing demand, they’ve announced a campaign to expand its facility, services, and programming. The Alliance announced the loft campaign goal of $1 million over 3-years just yesterday.

So far the Alliance’s Director of Philanthropy and Volunteer Coordinator, Kathleen Shoon says they’ve helped reduce the homeless animal population by avoiding unwanted litters. Shoon says the expansion will also help serve rural, underserved communities.

“So the cats, obviously, we do a lot more,” said Shoon entering the cat holding room on a tour of the facility.

It’s another day jam-packed with surgeries at the Iowa Humane Alliance. That means Dr. Doll, the staff veterinarian, has a long day ahead of her.

“We are booking [surgeries] out at times, 3 to 4 months in advance and that really is far too long of a wait time in the spay and neuter world,” said Shoon.

In 2018 alone the clinic performed more than 10,000 spay and neuters.

“So there’s truly a need for this kind of a program and for affordable accessible spay and neuter services,” said Shoon.

“You shouldn’t have to be rich to have an animal but if you cannot afford the most basic of things we can provide that at a very reduced cost,” said Dr. Doll.

One of the biggest clients? Stray, community cats from farms and local neighborhoods. 

“People who are taking care of these cats never wanted that many. They just came and multiplied and those people want to do the right thing by spay and neutering but it would cost an outrageous amount of money to spay and neuter 10, 20, 30 cats,” said Dr. Doll.

They’re busy and bursting at the seems while trying to stop unwanted litters.

Dr. Doll says the expansion would mean the clinic would be able to increase the volume of surgeries and in turn that would mean fewer animals winding up in shelters.

“That they would have less animals that they’d have less animals they’d have to put down due to lack of space,” said Dr. Doll.

A lack of space the Iowa Humane Alliance is feeling itself in its one operating room facility. Shoon says most days every available kennel is full of patients.

“When you spay and neuter it helps the entire community whether you’re an animal person or not,” said Shoon, “It saves on tax dollars, it reduces animal shelter admissions, it alleviates stress in pet populations and in families because litters can become overwhelming to people.”

The Alliance’s goal for phase one is $450,000 to expand the facility, bring on another veterinarian and equipment to serve the new space. So far they’re raised nearly $90,000.

Phase two will expand its services to rural, underserved communities. Phase three will help the Alliance keep up with costs and stay sustainable.

Two community cats can be brought in for spay, neuter services Monday through Thursday. Staff asks that you please call in advance. More details can be found on its website.

To learn more about its trap, neuter, return assistance program and community cat program check out this story from.

Ashley Neighbor

Reporter, Cedar Rapids

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