‘Got Pets?’ PETA’s ‘Snip Mobile’ bringing affordable neutering, spaying to Suffolk

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Across the nation, animal control shelters receive approximately 6-10 million animals annually. Those who are not adopted within a few weeks – some 4-5 million of them – are killed either by a painless lethal injection or by undesirable methods like carbon monoxide or decompression chambers.

In Suffolk, the Animal Control Shelter is filled to capacity with unwanted puppies and kittens, and the Chief Animal Control Officer Nathaniel Skeeter has initiated a program that should help alleviate the problem of overpopulation in the future.


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Working with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Skeeter has arranged for local pet owners to obtain spaying and neutering services at prices less than half of what is usually charged for the surgery.

&uot;Many people are looking for ways to reduce the amount of suffering in the world, and our animal shelter has teamed up with PETA to help the most helpless among us…our pets,&uot; said Skeeter. &uot;PETA’s &uot;Snip Mobile&uot; will return to Suffolk on June 26, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the animal shelter on Forest Glen Drive just off Holland Road. By calling PETA for an appointment, pet owners can help their pets and save money at the same time. To set an appointment, call 622-7382, and then press option 7.&uot;

Skeeter said spaying and neutering helps stem the tide of overpopulation in animals, and it does not make animals fat and lazy, harm their health, or hurt their personalities, as some people believe.

&uot;Spaying reduces stress and discomfort for the female animals, but it also eliminates the risk of uterine cancer and greatly reduces the chance of mammary cancer,&uot; said Skeeter. &uot;Neutering makes males far less likely to roam or fight, and helps prevent testicular cancer.&uot;

According to the animal control officer, female cats and dogs should be spayed soon after the age of eight weeks. Males should also be neutered at eight weeks of age, but both spaying and neutering can be done safely through most of adulthood. In Suffolk, Skeeter said animals adopted at the shelter must be spayed or neutered within 30 days of adoption.

PETA’s mobile spay and neutering clinic will be in Suffolk on a monthly basis beginning this month, however, Skeeter said, if there is enough demand for services, the mobile clinic would come more frequently. As it stands right now, Skeeter said he’s just pleased they are helping.

&uot;I first met the PETA Coordinator, Robin Hummel, in court one day and I asked if PETA could help us out

in Suffolk,&uot; said Skeeter. &uot;I had heard of the mobile clinic and ask her if we could be included in their medical and surgical services, and she contacted me soon after that initial meeting to say they would provide their services here.&uot;

Skeeter also noted that prices for spaying and neutering by the Snip Mobile vets run at $27 for cat neutering; $39 for spaying. Snip Mobile professionals neuter dogs for $41 and spaying is $49. Charges for these services normally range from $50 to $111for neutering a cat, and for dogs, 26 to 50 pounds, the cost ranges from $120 to $130 for spaying and neutering.

On average, the shelter for animals in Suffolk is heavily populated; however, the shelter is currently filled to capacity with about 50 kittens and almost 40 puppies. Those figures do not include adult dogs and cats.

Skeeter said another helping hand in Suffolk is Wal-Mart. They post a weekly list of pets being offered for adoption complete with photos of many. Check out the photos and information posted in the pet department of the store. The animal shelter also posts animals on the City of Suffolk website at www.suffolk.va.us.

The shelter is located at

124 Forest Glen Dr. Call 923-2160 for more information.

The shelter is open Monday through-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The shelter is closed Sundays and holidays