Spay-neuter clinic addresses community cats

Sep. 18—HERMITAGE — Rows of cats in cages lined the Hermitage Fire Department's Station 3 parking lot on Mercer Avenue Sunday, as a spay-neuter clinic serviced 72 stray and feral cats.

The clinic was organized by the Animal Protection League of Western Pennsylvania, and made possible by a donation from the Glenn and Jean Harnett Private Charitable Foundation, APL President Stacey Squatrito said.

The Fix'N Wag'N, a nonprofit organization, provided the spaying and neutering services.

Squatrito said the clinic came about after APL officials requested funds from the Glenn and Jean foundation to address the population of cats from some of the more prolific colonies throughout Mercer County.

"It was a 14-hour day for us," Squatrito said. "From 7 in the morning to about 9 in the evening, that was how long it took us to get all the cats spayed or neutered."

The cats were captured through a trap-neuter-return program organized by APL officials. After their spaying or neutering procedures, the cats were monitored for 24 hours — staying with fosters and volunteers until they could be released, Squatrito said.

While the adult cats were returned to their places of capture, the kittens were taken in to be vetted and adopted out by the APL, Squatrito said.

The goal is to stem the exponential growth of the feral cat population by preventing future litters.

More information on the APL can be found on their "Animal Protection League of Western Pa — APL" Facebook page.

Like David L. Dye on Facebook or email him at