|OSU Brings Operation Catnip to Stillwater|
(Stillwater, Okla., October 1, 2013) – Thanks to veterinary students and faculty at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Operation Catnip is at work in the Stillwater community. A non-profit organization, Operation Catnip provides high volume, no-cost spay/neuter and vaccination services to the free-roaming community cats of Stillwater through a trap-neuter-release system.
Lesa Staubus, DVM, clinical assistant professor in shelter medicine and surgery serves as president of Operation Catnip’s board of directors. Dr. Staubus spearheaded the project securing grant money from the Kirkpatrick Foundation, the Summerlee Foundation, the Buel J. Staton Charitable Trust and Steve Kitson. PetSmart Charities has also contributed $60,000 to help purchase disposable supplies used during the surgeries.
Cats are humanely trapped by members of the community and brought to OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital. While the program is a 501(c)(3) and is not affiliated with Oklahoma State University, the veterinary center donates the use of its surgical suites at OSU’s veterinary medical hospital. Here veterinary faculty, staff and students, along with other community members, volunteer their time to perform the surgeries.
The cats are examined, prepped for surgery, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, ear tipped for identification purposes, and then returned to their original outdoor home.
“I attended my first clinic on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013,” says Elisabeth Giedt, DVM, MBA, and director of continuing education, extension and community engagement at OSU’s veterinary center. “While this was only the second clinic offered by this organization, it was run as though everyone had been doing this job for many years.”
Trap-neuter-release helps to stabilize cat colony populations, improve the cats’ relationship with the community by eliminating the behaviors and stresses associated with mating, and reduces the risk of rabies transmission along with other transmissible diseases to our own pets.
Special thanks to the veterinarians volunteering their services—from OSU, Drs. Kimberly Carter, Danielle Dugat, Tamara Gull, Todd Jackson, Laura Katz and Lesa Staubus, and from the Cat Clinic of Stillwater, Dr. Sarah Peakheart. Veterinary technicians assisting were: Michael Chesbro, Jesse Jenny, Chelsey Luftkin, Shannon Maxwell, and Jill Weber along with fourth year veterinary students Alexandra Kondos, Emily Messner, Sammie Redding and Heather Rhoden, third year veterinary students Megan Dayton, Liz Gallo, Jackie Paritte, and Nick Pope, and first year veterinary student Delaina Skinner to name a few. The clinic was also supported by many members of the community such as high school students, pre-veterinary undergraduate students, Stillwater Animal Control Officer Mary Dickie, and the founder of Tiny Paws Kitten Rescue and Operation Catnip board member Holly Chapples.
The next Operation Catnip clinic will be held on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013. For more information, please visit http://www.operationcatnipstillwater.org.
Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university. OSU's Center for Veterinary Health Sciences is the only veterinary college in Oklahoma. One of 28 veterinary colleges in the United States, it is fully accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The center's Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital is open to the public and provides routine and specialized care for small and large animals. It also offers 24-hour emergency care and is certified by the American Animal Hospital Association. OSU is preparing students for a brighter future and building a brighter world for all. OSU improves the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and the world through integrated, high quality teaching, research and outreach. For more information, visit www.cvhs.okstate.edu or call (405) 744-7000.