49 cats treated during weekend DeQuincy clinic

Forty-nine cats were spayed or neutered and vaccinated at a DeQuincy residence Saturday. Dana Frye of LaPaw Rescue helped coordinate the SpayNation for Dogs & Cats mobile clinic visit. Some of the treated felines will be available soon at a Lake Charles pet store for a fee. Frye said she’s found a barn home for some of the more feral ones, and the McGough family — who love all God’s creatures, especially cats — will continue to care for the rest.

“The cats would come here and eat and breed and therefore, it was my problem to take care of,” said Gary McGough.

DeQuincy does not have an animal control officer. Residents must trap the cat or other animal, then call Calcasieu Parish Animal Control to have it picked up. When neighbors began to trap cats, McGough worried some might be euthanized. Feral cats are not put up for adoption.

So he built a catio “to keep them off the street, so to speak,”, he said. Like a patio, it adjoins the house, and the foundation is concrete. It’s roofed. The walls are wrapped during the winter and this one resembles a greenhouse during the cold season. Blankets are also used to cover the stacked dog kennels, used because these give the cats more room. The McGough’s catio also has a large playhouse inside. The catio has room aplenty, but kittens can have their own litter of up to four kittens in as little as four months, then those kittens can get pregnant, and have an average of four kittens.

Preparation for SpayNation’s visit began the evening before. Cats, even the wild ones, were caught or transferred from the catio to individual kennels. At the top of each kennel, the name and sex of each cat was noted, for all 49.

“Everything living deserves a name,” McGough said as he petted Cameron, named after the English boxer. McGough rescued Cameron right after she was born when the placenta was still attached. “The mother must have gotten scared and ran off,” he said. “I had to bottle feed her.” He’s also used the names of other fighters for kittens he rescued because they “fought for their lives” There’s a Tyson and a Rocky.

While McGough had high praises for his veterinarian, Dr. Mike Meaux and his assistant Robin, SpayNation offers savings, as the group is committed to ending companion animal overpopulation by offering low-cost, high-quality services to pet owners, animal welfare/rescue groups and feral cat caretakers. SpayNation’s brick and mortar clinic is in Lafayette. Co-founder Paula Stude said the group was spearheaded by Wildcat Nation, a 501(c) 3 in Lafayette and received the kind of attention after Hurricane Katrina that resulted in some grant funding. The mobile clinic is a gift from the late James David Martin.

SpayNation has visited DeQuincy before. They set up at the Railroad Museum, treating at least 50 cats. “We received a key to the city from the mayor for doing it,”  Stude said, “and we are grateful for the honor.”

“Some people hate cats, some people love ‘em,” Stude said. “We want to have a conversation with people on both sides of the fence. I feel if more people would embrace spay and neuter, spay and neuter, spay and neuter” – she said it three times to emphasize it has to be repeated for each animal – “there would be less cats to hate.”

SpayNation has a website and Facebook page. The phone number is 337-264-1088.

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