Pasta dinner funds low-cost feline spay/neutering

Published Feb 13, 2013 at 10:44 am (Updated Feb 13, 2013 at 10:44 am)

Household pets are delightful. They give us plenty of comfort, companionship and uncomparable trust. Unfortunately, so many are abandoned, on their own to find food, water and a warm, dry place to live. So often they breed, adding more furry friends to care for themselves.

If it weren’t for volunteers, shelters and fostering services, countless other homeless animals would roam the streets, increasing the population each year.

Nearly a year ago, Michelle Bruce of Peters Township and other compassionate animal lovers became advocates for our homeless feline friends. They founded Fix ‘ur Cat with a goal to raise awareness of the great number of stray cats in Washington County and to do something about it. These cats don’t just appear. Many folks drop off adult cats and litters that were not spayed or neutered. They in turn breed, and the “cat problem” gets out of control.

Sanctuaries and animal control groups are overcrowded, allowing these cute furry animals to wander subject to the elements, often starving and injured.

Aimed at the heart of the problem and what seems to be the only humane solution, Fix ‘ur Cat hoped to do what they could to eliminate overpopulation and uncontrolled breeding.

The group began by offering low-cost neuter/spay services. In reality, they were taking a chance. Would people be willing to gather stray cats and pay for their services, even at a reduced rate? Getting the word out and raising funds would create another challenge.

Calls started coming in, some knowing of large groups of abandoned, stray and feral cats, but callers didn’t have resources to pay. Fix ‘ur Cat needed to raise money to help with these costs. To get started, Fix ‘ur Cat held a well-attended miniature golf tournament last summer, which raised about $1,200. With these funds and those raised at the Cecil Township Fall Festival, a craft fair and private donations, the volunteer group provided payment for selected neuters and spays. Funds were also used for a few medical tests for cats when needed, additional traps and other equipment needed to handle homeless and feral strays and to offset transportation expenses to ferry cats to Animal Friends’ clinics.

To subsidize this year’s homeless cat expenses, Fix ‘ur Cat has planned a spaghetti dinner 4-7 p.m. Feb. 22. The dinner will be held at Western Area Career Technology Center in Houston. Peters Township resident Evan Moran and Sunshine McCullough of Burgettstown, two talented chefs and students of the center’s Culinary Arts Department, will join their talents with other students to prepare a home-cooked meal of pasta with marinara or meat sauce, salad, dinner rolls, brownies and beverage.

“I’m encouraged with the progress our culinary department has made in the past 10 years. My focus is getting these culinary students out in the work force,” said Dr. Joseph Iannetti, director of Western Area Career Technology Center. “By preparing food for events like these, our students get to share their talents in a working environment.”

A theme basket raffle is also planned – a Sabika London choker, Camp Bow-Wow five-day doggie daycare camp, BeautiControl anti-aging items, Penguin favorites, car care and gift cards are just a few of the items provided by local individuals and businesses.

Dinner reservation forms are available at, mail a check to Fix ‘Ur Cat, Michelle Bruce, 183 Hill Place Road, Venetia, PA 15367 or call 724-503-8523.

Tickets are $10 each.

“Animal Friends shelter is a great help to us by bringing its Mobile Resource Clinic to Washington County in summer months,” said Michelle Bruce. “Thanks to North Strabane and Cecil townships, Canonsburg Borough and Red Carpet Golf/Rec Center in Washington, we’ve had good locations to hold feline clinics for spay and neutering.”

“We are in need of more places to hold the clinics,” continued Michele.

The mobile clinic needs a flat parking area and an indoor recuperation space, heated in winter and cooled in summer with running water. Cats are confined to carriers or traps at all times. Acquiring additional clinic space would mean more cats could be “fixed.”

By spaying one female, 60 live births can be prevented. Last year, dedicated Fix ‘ur Cat volunteers provided services to spay or neuter more than 360 cats in Washington County. Their goal is higher this year.

A spay/neuter clinic is planned Feb. 25 at the North Strabane Township Building. Registration is a must. Call Pat Spahr at 412-835-6893.

Fix ‘ur Cat is always in need of cat food and litter, private and corporate donations to reduce the cost of spay and neuter services offering help to folks with multiple feral cats roaming their property.

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