Miller’s free spay/neuter program helps 100th feline

Published 8:11 am Tuesday, August 14, 2012

“CAT No. 100” is Tess, a chocolate Havana brown.

It may not be 101 Damatians, but it is 100 Cats.

In a little less than one year, Sally Miller of Bainbridge has hit and surpassed her goal of having 100 cats either spayed or neutered.

Last August, Miller, a certified veterinary technician and owner of Cats’ Pajamas, a pet sitting business, held a meeting at the Gilbert H. Gragg Library to kick off the “Marley Memorial Free Spay/Neuter for Cats” program, named in honor of her late cat Marley.

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Her goal was to raise awareness of the problem of the rapidly-expanding cat population in Bainbridge and Decatur County, and gain financial support to spay stray cats and the cats of owners who could not afford it.

The public responded with donations, and as of Aug. 16, she will have given out enough vouchers to have 104 cats spayed or neutered.

“That equates to stopping a whole lot of babies that would have been born without this program,” Miller said.

Miller wanted to celebrate “Cat 100” in a special way. She chose Tess, a chocolate brown, medium haired cat with very long whiskers. She was found by a good Samaritan and turned into the Bainbridge\Decatur County Humane Society, along with her litter of three kittens. On Aug. 6, she became the 100th cat to be spayed, and is now ready for adoption to a good home.

Tess is a special cat in other ways, too. The Humane Society’s Beth Eck said that, in the 11 years she has been associated with the Humane Society, this is only the second chocolate brown cat she has seen. She believes it is of the Havanna brown species, considered rare.

The special arrangements made in cooperation with area veterinarians, which include Dr. Russell Henley and Dr. Heather Dean of Colquitt Veterinary Clinic; Dr. Edgar Hight and Dr. David Bryan of Bryan & Hight Veterinary Clinic and Dr. Clifford Bailey of Port City Animal Hospital in Bainbridge, have made this program possible and successful.

Miller is also thankful for the support and encouragement she has received from the people of St. John’s Episcopal Church, The Post-Searchlight, the Bainbridge Humane Society, Handiway and Antique Annex for helping her get this far. She  especially thanks her friend Judy, from Tallahassee, Fla., who has done cat rescue all her life and has helped Miller with encouragement and advice on how to begin and carry on this project.

Those who would like to make contributions or inquire about having a cat spayed are invited to contact Miller by calling (229) 400-5610.