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Spay Pod at Kealia Farm

KEALIA — The Animal Balance Spay Pod has moved and is now sterilizing animals at Kealia Farm with the ability to serve between 30 and 40 cats daily.

Part of a large-scale, coordinated effort to reduce the population of feral cats on the island, the Spay Pod landed on Kauai in January and is the only semi-mobile spay and neuter clinic of its kind on the island. Other places for spay and neuter services are at local veterinarians or at Kauai Humane Society.

KHS provides surgeries on Tuesdays and Thursdays on site at a cost of $60 for cat spay and $40 for neuter, with accompanying microchips at $20 a piece.

KHS does have a mobile spay and neuter program, and it is on hold because the van dedicated to the program is broken down. With the current budget and funding, Executive Director Mirah Horowitz says the focus at KHS will be on strengthening spay and neuter on site before reopening the mobile clinic.

But the Spay Pod is able to hop around the island occasionally and spent its first three months at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Kapaa. It arrived after several mobile animal sterilization hospital clinics were hosted by Animal Balance on Kauai, sterilizing more than 600 animals.

The pod was funded by Animal Balance in partnership with the Kauai Community Cat Project and is an extension of the mission of those two nonprofit organizations.

Cost for the surgeries is $50 and that includes a microchip.

Animal Balance has been partnering with organizations on Kauai since 2015, said Animal Balance spokeswoman Elsa Kohlbus.

“Three high volume MASH campaigns have been held, targeting both dogs and cats, to assist the community with humanely managing their populations, while also helping protect the island’s most at-risk species,” she said.

The Spay Pod is an integral piece to the overall effort because it provides a consistent, low-cost option for sterilizations and builds on the large-scale, targeted efforts of the MASH clinics, Kohlbus said

It’s staffed with a trained veterinarian and a veterinary technician, and local volunteers help with surgeries.

The Spay Pod is meant to be able to roam as needed. There’s always been a vision that the pod would move and serve different areas of the island, Kohlbus said.

The Spay Pod will continue to be open to the public two days per week ­— Monday, Wednesday or Friday; with the schedule varying weekly — to provide sterilization surgeries for both owned and community cats. Drop off for cats is between 8 and 8:30 a.m. and pick up is around 2:30 p.m.

Proceeds will be used to support the Spay Pod. To make an appointment, email spaypod@animalbalance.org or call 650-2720.
Source: The Garden Island

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