Big numbers at cat clinic

Otago Polytechnic School of Veterinary Nursing programme manager Helen Beattie checks the temperature of Penny at the second annual student cat clinic in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Otago Polytechnic School of Veterinary Nursing programme manager Helen Beattie checks the temperature of Penny at the second annual student cat clinic in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

The second annual student cat clinic yesterday was such a success the event could become twice-yearly.

Otago University Students' Association welfare officer Nali Lee said 40 Dunedin students' cats had check-ups and treatment at the OUSA and Otago Polytechnic cat clinic.

''Hopefully, we'll do this again in September and get another 40 cats to the clinic.''

For $20, the cat got a health check, deworming, vaccination and microchipping at the polytechnic's veterinary clinic and the owner received a goodie bag, which included cat food and a collar, she said.

Stray cats were a long-standing problem in Dunedin and the OUSA wanted students to get cats registered and linked with a Dunedin veterinarian and to take up the offer of discounted cat desexing, Ms Lee said.

''We realise the impact of strays in the north end and we're hoping that by offering cheap desexing options we can continue to make more students take the step into responsible pet ownership.''

The clinic was supported by Virbac, Stockguard, Dunedin veterinarians and nurses and the Otago SPCA, Ms Lee said.

SPCA Otago chief executive Sophie McSkimming said the SPCA bought the vaccines and worming pills for the clinic and she hoped the initiative would result in fewer abandoned cats.

Otago Polytechnic nursing student Hannah Larkins said she brought her 15-week-old kitten Snowy to the clinic because without the discount it cost about $100 to vaccinate and microchip a cat.

''I couldn't afford that.''

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