A Nevada woman, Rhonda Appelgate, her daughter, Samantha, and her mother, Karen Smith, recently gave $200 to the Story County Veterinary Clinic, east of Ames, to help with the clinic’s program of spaying and neutering cats.

Kim Houlding, veterinarian, said she’s been taking donations for many years to help provide animal services for those who can’t afford it, and to help “fix” feral cats. Recently, the topic has been in the news to the point where everyone’s more aware of the problem.

“From my own experience of managing a shelter … the number of unwanted cats is huge,” she said, noting that a female cat can have up to five litters every two years, and with litters averaging around five kittens, “it only takes a short period of time to get to 200,” which is what happened with one well-publicized case in central Iowa not too long ago.

Thanks to residents who care, like the Appelgates and Smith, the Story County Veterinary Clinic takes in donations that help with to fund spaying and neutering of feral cats, farm cats and cats of people who can’t afford it.

“We’re trying to cut down on the number of unwanted cats…the shelters are full,” Houlding said. And she noted that there’s nothing more heartbreaking for shelter workers than having to see cats put to sleep in large numbers.

If anyone in the public has questions about donating to the fund or about getting cats fixed, they are asked to call the shelter and talk to LeAnn Hazen, office manager. The number is 515-232-8766.

Houlding has had the Story County Veterinary Clinic since 1994. She earned a DVM in 1976 from Iowa State University. She also received her Master of Science in Veterinary Forensics in 2015. Hazen has been with the clinic for 17 years.