- Every town, in every state, faces a crisis of too many homeless animals. In the United States, it is estimated that nearly 8 million homeless animals enter animal shelters, each year. And Honesdale and its surrounding communities are no strangers to pet overpopulation.

Fortunately, the Olga and Dorothea Dessin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is available to help. Dessin, in cooperation with the Eastern Pennsylvania Animal Alliance (EPAA), will offer feline spay and neuter surgeries, at no charge, through EPAA's surgical van on Tuesday, October 9 at the Fred Miller Pavilion, 640 Main St., Honesdale.

"Spaying and neutering helps reduce the number of strays and unwanted animals in our community. Stray cats get into garbage, damage property, carry disease and can even cause auto accidents. On average, a non-spayed, fertile cat will produce two litters in one year. In seven years, her offspring can produce 420,000 cats!" says executive director Dara Coslett Granza.

Vouchers for the free surgeries will be available, first come – first serve, beginning 11 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 4 at Dessin Animal Shelter, 138 Miller Dr., Honesdale. They are limited to two, per household, and to Wayne County residents only. Proper proof of residency is required.

The event, titled "Avoid a CATastrophe!," is made possible in part by the John and Helen Villaume Foundation. Dessin has hit the pavement asking that businesses and community members help with additional funding for this project by sponsoring a spay or neuter surgery at just $35, per animal. Supporters will receive an acknowledgment card to display in their homes and businesses and will be listed on all event signage.

Please make donation checks payable to:

Dessin Animal Shelter, 138 Miller Drive, Honesdale, PA 18431

Questions about sponsorships for "Avoid a CATastrophe!," should be directed to Ms. Granza at (570) 647-0620. To learn more about the free feline spay and neuter surgeries on October 9, contact Dessin Animal Shelter at(570) 253-4037 or visit www.DessinShelter.com.