“We’re five cat-loving women,” says Jeanne Spencer of Manchester. She and the four other board members of a new nonprofit called Kat Snips own upwards of sixty cats among them. That almost matches the total number of felines–about eighty–that the group has sterilized for free since its incorporation in January.
For many years, Kitty Zimmer operated a feral cat spay-neuter program called For the Love of Cats. When Zimmer moved to New Mexico and closed the program, the Kat Snips quintet moved quickly to fill the gap. “We said, ‘We’re going to do it!'” Spencer recalls. They signed up fifteen veterinarians in Washtenaw, Jackson, and Lenawee counties to provide the service, which also includes a rabies shot and, for feral cats, ear chipping “so you can tell who’s been fixed and who hasn’t.”
The cats’ owners pay only a small application fee, then get a voucher to pay for the procedure. “The fee covers our administrative cost, so 100 percent of donations go to the cats,” Spencer explains. The vets discount their services, and the board members raise money to pay for the vouchers by collecting cans and bottles and holding raffles, rummage sales, and benefits (the next of which is a dinner and silent auction at Chelsea’s Village Conference Center on November 20). “We’ve raised about $8,800 to date and spent almost $6,000,” Spencer says. “We haven’t gone out and broadcast our services, because we’re afraid the demand will outstrip our financial resources, but you would be amazed at the word-of-mouth.”