Non-profit, high-volume, spay and neuter clinics are a lifeline for cats and the people who care about them. We also know that these services are vital to Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR) programs around the country and across the globe.

In a study published in September in the Journal of the American Veterinary Association, researchers examined, among other factors, just who uses these clinics. Half of those sterilized were from shelters, rescue groups, TNR programs, and nearby communities that lacked these services. The other half were owned cats living with individuals and families with incomes less than $30,000 a year.

Many of these folks said they hadn’t taken their cats for veterinary care previously because those services were too expensive at a private veterinary practice. The same goes for many shelters, rescue and TNVR groups. Without accessible and affordable spay and neuter services, we all know what happens: Cats will continue to reproduce.

The study affirmed that fact: 76 percent of cats brought to the non-profit clinics participating in the study were less than one year of age. And 28 percent had already produced at least one litter.

Non-profit, high-volume spay and neuter clinics are essential for our cats and our communities. It’s time we speak out to our community and municipal leaders and demand accessibility to these services for our animals.