Local vets reach milestone with more than 10,000 spay and neuter surgeries at Potsdam, Massena animal shelters
Monday, November 26, 2012 - 4:44 pm

Veterinarian Dr. Edward Gordon, right, has surpassed 10,000 surgeries to spay or neuter the adoptable animals at the Potsdam and Massena Humane Societies. With Gordon on surgery day in Potsdam is technician Regina Caswell, left.

The Potsdam and Massena Humane Societies recently spayed or neutered their 10,033rd animal to be placed for adoption.

Both humane societies maintain a policy to “fix” their adoptable animals prior to going to their new homes.

Dr. Edward Gordon, a local semi-retired veterinarian, started the program in 1999 at the Potsdam shelter by offering to spay and neuter the animals there.

A few years later, the Massena Humane Society joined the program and brought their adoptable animals to Potsdam for surgery, adding to the numbers of spayed and neutered animals.

Now Massena has a surgery facility as well, and Gordon travels to Massena to perform surgery there.

Veterinarian Dr. Sophia Theodore, professor in SUNY Canton’s veterinary technician program, also fills in when needed to do surgery at Potsdam. And Potsdam Humane sends animals to be spayed or neutered by SUNY Canton vet instructors, in order to enrich and assist student training.

Aside from slowing the growth in the population of unwanted animals, the spaying and neutering greatly reduces the risk for many diseases such as cancer. In the case of a female, she will no longer go in and out of heat. Males have a reduced risk of testicular cancer, and will not roam in search of a female and become a much nicer, loving pet.

Cats can have up to four litters a year starting as young as 6 or 7 months of age.

The Potsdam Humane Society also offers income-based spay/neuter clinic services to income eligible people in the North Country through Project S.N.I.P. (Spay Neuter In Potsdam). Their goal is to greatly reduce the suffering of unwanted animals that are abandoned, left to fend for themselves, and many cases die a horrible death.

This year an unprecedented number of kittens and cats are at the shelter, and the list of people waiting to bring cats to the shelter is a lengthy one. Two-for-one sales and sponsored adoptions have helped.

The humane society does not make money on an adopted animal. The adoption charge for an adopted animal covers the cost of care the animal receives at the shelter prior to adoption.

Shelter operation depends on donations from caring individuals in the North Country. The new facility in Potsdam has a $2,000 per month mortgage. With this debt, there is a substantial shortfall in money to operate the shelter as 2012 comes to an end.

Anyone who can help PHS care for the animals is asked to consider a direct pay pledge of $10 a month, or whatever a donor can spare.

More giving options and information are available at www.potsdamhumanesociety.org.