With warmer temperatures here, cats may be more mobile looking for partners.

Heaven Can Wait Animal Rescue is reminding pet owners of the importance of getting their cats spayed or neutered to help keep populations under control.

Kim Hessel, owner of Heaven Can Wait, says the operation is a one time fee that has huge benefits.

"We're dealing with Vulcan right now trying to help them get a handle on their feral, stray, and unwanted cat population and I see what happens in a smaller community when people don't put that effort in. Pretty soon you've got strays everywhere, high mortality rates, and people get frustrated and angry. The only and best way to stop over population is simply that one time surgery."

According to the U.S. Humane Society, two unaltered cats and their offspring over 7 years, including mortality, can produce up to 400,000 cats.

Okotoks and High River have a decent handle on cats with Hessel saying the rescue only receives occasional calls for cats in the towns, but that in smaller, more rural communities and acreages cats are still a big issue.

She says spaying or neutering is still beneficial even if it's for a barn cat.

"I really think that if you spay or neuter your barn cats what you're creating is a sustainable colony really, they don't necessarily have to be tame but if they're spayed then at least they're not reproducing like crazy and they tend to stay where they're being fed so you'll end up having a good colony of mousers that'll take care of whatever issues you might have on your property but you're not dealing with all the little babies that'll come around."

Heaven Can Wait offers a Spay it Forward program where the foundation will cover 50% of the cost of a spay or neuter for those who are struggling financially with one of their participating vet clinics and also offer payment options.

Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

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