Lifestyle

Oasis provides a free fix for Whidbey cat problems

This furtive feral kitten is one of many who will not reproduce in the wild because of Oasis for Animals.  - Photo courtesy of Oasis For Animals
This furtive feral kitten is one of many who will not reproduce in the wild because of Oasis for Animals.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Oasis For Animals

RECORD STAFF

Spring is in the air. That means those devoted to controlling Whidbey Island’s cat population are busier than a mouser at a Disney reunion.

“Right now everybody out there’s in heat or getting pregnant,” said Jean Favini, president of Oasis for Animals.

She was on her way to drop off a couple of feral cats on Central Whidbey she had neutered just the day before.

Oasis is a nonprofit animal rescue organization based in Langley. It provides free and low cost cat spaying or neutering.

“Need to get your cat fixed?” Favini asked as if quoting a motto. “Oasis for Animals has the solution!”

Oasis for Animals received a grant from The Washington Federation of Animal Care and Control Agencies which will provide 125 free cat spay/neuter surgeries for low-income residents of Whidbey Island. The regular price is $25.

The free offer will likely make Favini’s schedule even more hectic, but she has help from other cat lovers.

“We’re all volunteers … we have no time,” she said hurriedly.

She provides temporary shelter for many cats at her home, but takes them to the mainland to be “fixed.” Tuesday, she hauled over a load of 14 tame cats and six feral (wild) cats to undergo the procedure.

Oasis for Animals partners with The Washington Federation of Animal Care and Control and The Northwest Organization for Animal Help (NOAH) in Stanwood to provide these surgeries and improve the quality of life for animals and their guardians on Whidbey Island.

Funds for this grant award are made possible by the sale of Washington state “We Love Our Pets” license plates. In an effort to be proactive regarding the pet overpopulation problem, revenue from the sale of these license plates was earmarked through an agreement with the state for actual spay/neuter surgeries for dogs and cats.

Oasis regularly transports cats off-island to what Favini describes as NOAH’s “state-of-the-art spay/neuter clinic for low-cost, high-quality surgery. Animals are delivered back to the island that evening.”

Kittens can be spayed/neutered at 2 pounds, which is at about 8 to 9 weeks old. Pregnant and in-heat cats can also be safely spayed.

Oasis for Animals also can help trap feral or free-roaming cats and get them spayed/neutered.

“Feral surgery is always free, and we even provide the traps,” Favini said, adding that it is important to “fix” any stray or feral cats that you see or are feeding.

“Right now is the time many females are coming into heat, so we’re working hard to get as many spayed and neutered as soon as possible, to prevent more kittens. Sadly, there are more kittens being born than homes available for them.”

In the last year, Oasis transported over 1,000 cats from Whidbey to NOAH for spay/neuter surgery.

Contact the organization to schedule an appointment. “We make it easy,” Favini emphasized. “Thank you for spaying and neutering.”

Oasis also welcomes tax-deductible donations to help with the gas costs and to further benefit this spay/neuter program.

To scheduled an appointment contact Oasis for Animals at 360-321-4142 or oasis@whidbey.com.

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