PITTSBURG — Over the past two decades 85,000 pets have been spayed or neutered through the Pawprints on the Heartland.
“It was something I just read in the magazine,”said Mary Kay Caldwell, board president of Pawprints on the Heartland. Caldwell was reading an article in a magazine about a mobile spay and neuter unit in Connecticut and shortly after that, she and six others teamed up to make it happen in Crawford County.
According to Caldwell, although Pawprints has prevented the birth of many unwanted animals, many are still born every year and animal neglect and abuse are still major problems.
“That’s why we really stress that every pet lover be responsible and spay or neuter your pet, whether through Pawprints or at their own vet to stop overpopulation,” she said.
The organization started with a mobile van but now also has a location next to Southeast Kansas Humane Society. Through many of the organization’s years, Dr. Laura Morland and several area clinics have offered their spay and neutering services, which Caldwell applauded.
She also thanked many of the donors, staff, organizations and volunteers who helped make these past 20 years of service possible.
“This has been a wonderful, wonderful joy to do,” Caldwell said. “We are happy with every surgery and animal that gets fixed.”
About Pawprints on the Heartland
Pawprints’ motto is “Prevention not Destruction.”
Pawprints made the surgeries both “accessible and affordable” for area residents. Surgeries have been performed for $40 or vouchers issued for people who are unable to pay. Spaying and neutering has prevented the birth of millions of unwanted animals, Caldwell said.
In recent years, the demand for surgeries has grown to make it necessary for Pawprints to begin searching for an additional veterinarian, Caldwell said. Because of the lack of veterinarian services, the van has temporarily been taken off the road and surgeries are being performed on site. The Wellness Clinic is also on hold until a veterinarian is hired.
As a way to help remind area residents to spay or neuter their pets, they are encouraging people to share about National Spay and Neuter Awareness month, which is in February.
People can have their pets spayed and neutered at Pawprints by calling 620- 232-0907 or by contacting their veterinarian.
Anyone interested in sponsoring a surgery for a disadvantaged pet, can mail a donation to Pawprints, P.O. Box 644, Pittsburg, KS 66762.
Pawprints on the Heartland also pairs up with the Trap Neuter and Return of Crawford County which live traps feral cats to be spayed or neutered and then they are taken back to the location they were found.