Mention the name Mr. Bigglesworth to UC Davis alum Hilary Hand-Howitt, and she will think of a different cat besides that of Dr. Evil’s in the film Austin Powers.
The name was given to the solid black kitten she adopted from the Yolo County Animal Services Shelter.
“He was the runt and quite sick at the time,” Howitt said. “And I’m always rooting for the underdog.”
To further initiate more rescues such as Mr. Bigglesworth, the Yolo County Animal Shelter recently lowered both cat and dog adoption prices.
Yolo County residents will now pay $78 for dog adoptions from the shelter. In addition to the dog of choice, the fee includes spaying or neutering, shots, a microchip, heartworm testing and a license. Cat adoptions, which entail spaying or neutering, shots, lab tests and a microchip, are $28.
Previously, a separate $90 charge for spaying and neutering was an added cost in the adoption of an animal from the shelter. The fee was dropped to increase adoptions in an effort to find homes for the multitude of pets within the Yolo County shelter.
Over 174 veterinary students, staff members and volunteers from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, another advocate of spaying and neutering pets, assisted in the school’s Spay Day 2010. Held Feb. 27 and 28, the event provided 77 spay and neuter procedures at minimal costs to low-income pet owners.
The Sacramento Area Animal Coalition – an organization focused on the elimination of companion animal overpopulation growth – is a proponent of spay and neuter efforts. Two cats and its offspring, which are not spayed or neutered, can produce 370,000 kittens within seven years, according its website.
In addition to spaying and neutering pets, the shelter’s adoption fees also include vaccines, which Lynn Narlesky, media contact for the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, said is of extreme consequence.
“Just one word: rabies,” Narlesky said.
Currently, owned dogs or cats that are not up to date on vaccines can be brought in to the Yolo County Animal Shelter’s Saturday clinic to receive current rabies vaccines for $8.
The paperwork and procedure for adoption at the Yolo County Animal Services Shelter is not as stringent as some, said Hand-Howitt. Identification and proof of one’s current address fulfill the list of credentials future pet adopters must bring with them to the shelter.
“At the Yolo shelter you can take your pet home that day,” Hand-Howitt said. “Whereas, if you go to the SPCA or Humane Society, sometimes they have [practices] such as coming to your place and checking to see if you have enough room for the pet.”
If a potential pet adopter visits the Yolo County Animal Services Shelter and does not discover an animal that suits them they can search on Petfinder. The online database houses a directory of pets from more than 13,000 organizations and shelters across the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The Yolo SPCA, also partnering with Petfinder, can be found most Saturdays at the Petco in The Marketplace Shopping Center on West Covell from 1-3 p.m., holding dog and cat adoption drives.
SPCA volunteer Amy Fabritius said the organization differs from the Yolo shelter in a few ways. First, as the SPCA is not a shelter, the animals are kept in foster homes and are never euthanized. Second, the adoption process for the SPCA is longer, Fabritius said.
“It can take up to a couple weeks,” she said. “The key is to match the right person with the right animal.”
Anamarie Urrutin, SPCA volunteer coordinator, said due to the luxury of being particularly choosy in placing animals with owners the organization is always on the lookout for volunteers.
“A lot of college students volunteer with the SPCA,” she said. “It’s great if [students] don’t know what they’re doing after graduation to have some experience working with animals.”
KELLEY REES can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.