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Non-profit hosting low-income cat spay and neuter clinic in Saanich

Itty Bitty Kitty Committee is piloting the event this weekend, hopes to repeat every three months
Sharon Rubin of the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee nurses Carlos, one of the many kittens she has helped in her decade of cat rescue. (Courtesy of Sharon Rubin)

A non-profit kitten rescue organization is offering up a chance for low-income families to get their cats spayed and neutered this weekend, with the goal of reducing the feral cat population and in turn saving lives.

From Sunday (Oct. 8) to Tuesday (Oct. 10), the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee will be hosting their first low-cost spay and neuter clinic in Saanich’s Royal Oak neighbourhood. If all goes well, Sharon Rubin hopes to make it a regular event.

“We have way too many cats and kittens in the world,” said Rubin, noting her decade of caring for abandoned and feral kittens has shown her prevention is the best method to reducing the number of kittens dying in the wild.

“Every year we are getting further and further behind on this issue. Every year there are more and more kittens being left behind, so we need to get in front of the problem, and that’s why I am doing this clinic.”

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Partnered with a mobile veterinarian who is bringing a trailer-based operating room to town for the clinic, Rubin hopes to spay and neuter 40 cats over the three-day clinic.

Half of the cats will be “community” or feral cats to help control that population, while the other half of the surgery slots are available for low-income families who otherwise would not be able to afford the procedure.

Rubin said she is targeting this portion of the community as unexpected litters of kittens from family pets are a significant source of the abandoned kittens found in the wild. She said around 75 per cent of kittens living in the wild do not survive.

“My goals in all of this is not only to help people in the community, but also to make the community aware there are resources if kittens are found outside. Please reach out if you do see kittens – don’t just take them, reach out first so there is a plan.”

Information on the rescue services Rubin provides, and registration for the spay and neuter clinic is available online at

To be eligible for the clinic, families must have an income between $27,000 and $71,000 depending on the number of family members. Cats must be at least eight weeks old, weigh at least 2.5 pounds, and otherwise be healthy for surgery.

A $200 deposit for the surgery is required, but $100 will be refunded once the cat is dropped off the morning of the scheduled appointment. The cats will be ready for pickup later that same day.

As the vet is travelling from out of town for the clinic, surgeries can only occur at the time and date assigned once the application is successful, and the deposit will be forfeited if the appointment cannot be kept.

Should this initial clinic prove successful, Rubin said she plans on organizing one every three months.

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