Fallon cat spay, neuter program works
The Churchill County Commission met last week to hear community project updates including how the Fallon Animal Welfare Group’s feline spay/neuter program is doing.
FAWG executive director Michelle Ippolito detailed how the commission’s $1,000 grant has helped decrease the number of cats going into shelters and being euthanized.
“I think the results are really looking good,” Ippolito said, describing a big project recently done near the Lahontan Dam. “We’ve done 40 cats this month alone in that project.”
The group advertises and attends community events and then receives calls about a cat or cat population. They safely trap the cats tand take them to a veterinarian in Fallon or Reno. The group keeps the cats overnight to allow the medication to wear off before returning the animals to where they were found, be it someone’s home, a barn, trailer park, alley or field. The group doesn’t have a fee but accepts donations.
“We don’t want them reproducing, litter after litter, and they can go into the Fallon Shelter,” Ippolito said.
Her report showed a 34 percent euthanasia rate, the lowest it has ever been, she said.
“That is just a really great number — 100 less cats than the same time period last year,” she added.
Reno’s shelter has a four percent rate but works closely with a tandem department.
“Do I think Fallon will reach that?” she posed. “It’s certainly a goal. But looking at numbers, I certainly think it’s going in the right direction.”
She said it’s an ongoing process that won’t continue to produce numbers at the current level since there will be fewer cats to fix.
The commission also heard from Carla James, acting field manager for the Bureau of Land Management Stillwater Field Office; she noted Sand Mountain would be staffed this weekend for Halloween events going on there.
Patricia Sammons, executive director of The Arts Center, highlighted their 2016 golf tournament, which had more teams than last year and a bigger turnout. It had good weather and is already booked as a June event next year. She said due to the Commission’s donation, the tournament had better advertising and prizes. Sammons hopes to reach further into other rural communities to encourage people to come play.
The commission discussed the Naval Air Station Fallon Range Training Complex Modernization with Jeremy Drew, project manager at Resource Concepts, Inc. Drew went over the latest data on potential land use conflicts, including six new maps showing potentially-affected landownership, grazing allotments, wildlife, mining and geothermal sites.
Drew noted commission comments, emphasizing he would flag these issues in writing for the scoping process. He mentioned there would also be another round for public comments in winter 2018.
“This is going to be less of a sprinting process and more of a marathon,” Drew said. “What can and can’t we live with.”
The group discussed water rights, hunting game, off-roading and endangered sage-grouse as well as working with affected industries.
Commissioner Pete Olsen said after speaking with the Navy at a past meeting, “They don’t want anything like a geothermal plant lit up like a Christmas tree, and that’s a money-maker for the county.
Michael Johnson, county planning director, said many of these companies might be willing to bury transmission lines, reduce lighting and more.
Eleanor Lockwood, county manager, discussed making the expansion project more palatable and brought up better defining how closed certain recreation areas would be such as specific times of the day, week or year.