Toronto Animal Services is asking city council to support a mobile spay and neuter clinic that would provide free sterilization for pets.
“Spay and neuter is the best way for us to control the population of cats and unwanted cats,” Animal Services veterinarian Esther Attard told CityNews on Wednesday.
“The majority of animals that come into animal services are not sterilized. We intake about 8,000 cats and about 90 per cent are not sterilized.”
Even if city council approves the request next month, there’s still one more hurdle. The mobile clinic must be approved by the College of Veterinarians of Ontario.
The issue legislation will be considered at the college on Wednesday and a decision is expected by the end of the year.
Attard hopes it will be approved under the college’s mandate to protect the public interest.
A mobile clinic would allow Animal Services to go to at-risk neighbourhoods that can’t get veterinary care, she said.
“If we can go to them, it makes it easier. If we can help people keep their pets, they stay out of shelters and with their families. Pets can really improve their quality of life,” Attard explained.
“They’re better pets too – they don’t roam, they don’t go into heat. We would also vaccinate these animals, which helps people as well.”
Through Toronto Animal Services, a typical sterilization and licence costs $100. Attard said the fee at a regular veterinarian can range from $200 to $400. The cost of operating a mobile clinic has not yet been established.
The proposal was adopted by the city’s licensing and standards committee earlier this month and will go before council on Oct. 8.
The OSPCA and the Toronto Humane Society also support changes to the legislation.