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Event to recognize 'World Spay Day'

Two non-profit animal welfare organizations are teaming up to bring an event to Roberts on Feb. 9.

The Protective Animal Welfare Society of Western Wisconsin (PAWS of Western Wisconsin) and Farm Feral & Stray are holding a "Spayghetti" dinner fundraiser in celebration of World Spay Day on Feb. 9 in the Roberts Village Park building from 5 - 6:30 p.m.

World Spay Day is an annual awareness campaign put on by the Humane Society. Borg said the actual "World Spay Day" is Feb. 26, but Spay Day events can be held throughout February.

The dinner, spaghetti, breadsticks, coleslaw, beverages and a homemade dessert, is $7 for adults and $5 for children under 11.

The proceeds from the dinner will support trapping, neutering and releasing free-roaming cats in the Roberts area.

"Our goal is to get these guys spayed and neutered and vaccinated," said Farm Feral & Stray Director Tanya Borg. "We're trying to reduce the number of kittens being born every year."

Borg said there are an estimated 13,400 free-roaming cats in St. Croix County.

"They're mostly the product of farms, strays or cats that have gotten lost," Borg said. "Or they've been abandoned by someone who couldn't take care of them any more."

Farm Feral & Stray captures or helps capture these cats safely and makes sure they are spayed or neutered and given shots.

"We have to get them spayed and neutered in order to keep them healthy," Borg said, "and so that they don't become a problem in the neighborhood by spraying and fighting."

Borg said people often take care of free-roaming cats, mostly by feeding them. It is these caretakers who use the traps provided by Farm Feral & Stray to capture the cats and bring them in for their shots. The caretakers place a treat in a cage. When the cat walks in to get the treat, its foot presses a lever that makes the cage door shut. Borg said these traps are used because they do not injure the cats.

After it is spayed, neutered and given shots, and while it is still under anesthesia, the tip of the cat's left ear is clipped off, to mark it as a cat that has been treated by Farm Feral & Stray. Borg said this does not hurt the cat.

Then, the cat is returned to the place they were captured. Borg said it will then have a good chance at living a long, healthy life outside.

Borg said releasing the cats is the best part of the process.

"You open the door, they come walking out, kind of look around, and then when they recognize where they are, off they go," Borg said. "It's really pretty cool."

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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