Guest column<br><br>Williams Animal Action Group celebrates 20 years<br>

In that time we have surgically altered 2,661 dogs and cats, vaccinated approximately 8,650 and found homes for who knows how many. The $2-$3 we profit from each vaccination is what subsidizes the price of the low cost spays and neuters. We are a 100 percent unpaid, volunteer charity so all our money goes to the pet care and those excellent flyers made by WAAG Secretary Kathy Grumbine and Carolyn Rogers of Parks.

Our most recent action outreach, the Feral Cat Program, has been a huge success. So far four wild cat colonies have been completely stabilized. This means no new kittens and all the cats neutered, spayed vaccinated (including rabies), and identified by a clipped flat right ear. We are now working on three other colonies to stabilize them. Gradually the wild cat colonies reduced in size and are no longer a problem.

However, the Feral Cat Program almost broke us financially. WAAG Treasurer Nancy Carter, called one day to say, “We’re almost out of money! There’s not enough to pay for another truckload of spays and neuters to go to the vet.”

Lynda Duffy, the editor of this paper, found out and jumped in with a front-page article about the situation, heading the article with a photo of her fluffy kitty.

Wow! Donations poured in. Individuals, businesses and clubs responded with enough funds to keep the Feral Cat Program going for months and months. WAAG is honored and inspired by the generosity of our community. Thank you one and all.

Robynn Eckel, former Vice President and founding WAAG member, recently resigned. We will miss her as Robynn’s advocacy of WAAG and her devotion to animal well being has been a key to our success. We know that her lifelong dedication to put welfare will continue to help our town, even though she will no longer be on the WAAG Board of Directors. Thanks so much, Robynn.

Sue Lynn Eddy was drafted and elected as WAAG’s new Vice President. A volunteer for many years, Sue has lately been sewing up pet scarves that attach to the collar of your critter. She offers them to the public for a donation to WAAG and has helped us a lot with their creative project. So far the scarves are available at Canyon Pets, Kate’s place at the corner of Edison Street and Grand Canyon Boulevard and at our upcoming Rabies Vaccination Clinic. Speaking of Kate, she will be offering a pet toenail clipping for a donation to WAAG at our upcoming vaccination clinic.

April 2, this Saturday, is our 20th Annual Rabies Vaccination Clinic. It will run from 12-3 p.m. at the Williams Rodeo Barn in snow, rain or sunshine; we’ll be there. Dr. Karla Baker of the Coconino Vet Clinic will be providing rabies shots for dogs at $6 each. Any healthy dog older than four months should be vaccinated. A pet’s first rabies shot is good for a year. All subsequent rabies vaccinations are good for three years. Check your pets’ records.

Our steady group of WAAG volunteers will again provide:

• Rabies shots for cats for $6.

• Cat four-way combo, which includes feline leukemia, for $10.

• Dog combination five-way shot, including distemper, parvo, corona, adenovirus, para influenza for $5.

• Dog Bordetella (kennel cough) for $5.

The city of Williams will have dog licenses available for $10 or $20. Spayed or neutered dogs get the cheaper rate so bring proof of surgery, especially for female dogs. All dogs within the city limits should be licensed and must be current on their rabies vaccinations.

Remember, no sick pets can receive a vaccination. Dogs must be on a leash and cats should be in pet carriers. WAAG will have both of these to loan out.

Now, who needs two terrific kitties? Brownie (the Gawhomp) and Goldie Nose are two feral, young cats that tamed down to become loving, playful sweethearts.

Brownie is addicted to playing string while Goldie Nose is rabbit soft and wants to be petted. Both are litter box trained, spayed and vaccinated females and should stay together if possible.

For more information about these fine cats, WAAG, the rabies vaccination clinic or spaying and neutering your pets, call 635-2595.

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