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The Animal Services of the Mesilla Valley (ASCMV) will provide limited, low-cost spay and neuter surgery for people who provide care to feral cat colonies inside the Las Cruces city limits.
The authority to provide the services came earlier this month when the Las Cruces City Council passed a trap, neuter, release (TNR) ordinance.
Currently, ASCMV will only be able to offer one day per week for TNR surgery, due to the limited availability of veterinarians who can do high volume spay-neuter, ASCMV Executive Director Clint Thacker said.
“A search is underway for another staff veterinarian, but right now we rely on only one veterinarian on staff and contract veterinarians that are sometimes available (and also care for more than 500 animals at the center),” Thacker said. The days TNR surgeries are conducted could expand, he said, depending on veterinarian availability.
The cost for spay/neuter is $40 per cat and includes vaccination, microchip and an ear tip that identifies a cat as vaccinated and sterilized, Thacker said.
If you tend to a feral colony, here's what you need to know:
Call ASCMV at 575-382-0018 to find out the designated day for the next public appointments for TNR surgery and/or for more information. You will be referred to the spay-neuter coordinator if you want to schedule an appointment. If you can’t speak with someone right away, leave a message and please be patient, Thacker said.
“We anticipate a high volume of calls,” he said. “It may take a little time for someone to get back to you.”
Trap the cat the night before the appointment, be sure to throw a towel over the trap to decrease the trauma for the cat.
The morning of the surgery, bring the cat to ASCMV, 3551 Bataan Memorial Highway, between 7:30 and 8 a.m. The cat will be ready to be picked up later that afternoon to be returned to the colony.
Also, note that the cat will be microchipped in your name.
The service is available only for healthy cats that have no sign of ownership, Thacker said. If a cat brought to ASCMV is unhealthy, it may be necessary to euthanize the cat for medical issues or for the prevention of the spread of disease, Thacker said.