By Barbara L. Morgenstern, Esq.
HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio — No matter if a cat is your pet, a stray, hangs out in a barn or is among those free spirits we call “feral,” the feline population here can get important medical services at no cost in 2016.
For a cat to be spayed or neutered and to receive the rabies vaccine, all free, sponsors advise:
- Whoever brings in a cat must have a valid Hamilton County address.
- Book an appointment by calling 513-871-0185.
The year-long, Hamilton County, Ohio, program is an effort to decrease cat euthanasia at the county’s animal shelter because of overpopulation.
The surgery and vaccine can be provided at two clinics, the Ohio Alleycat Resource (OAR) in Madisonville or the United Coalition for Animals (UCAN) in Camp Washington.
The Joanie Bernard Foundation, a trust that funds groups that work to help save cats in the Greater Cincinnati area, is funding the one-year program, in a joint venture with the SPCA Cincinnati and OAR.
The program is an effort “to decrease the intake and euthanasia rate at the SPCA,” according to OAR.
“OAR and the SPCA have been working, since 2013, to increase the number of cats finding ‘live outcomes’ (adoption, release) at the the SPCA.
This has included a project to fix and release feral cats brought to the SPCA, and to have more “no-ill” rescues pull cats from the SPCA for their own group to adopt out.
We hope, with this effort, to remove any hurdles families might face to fixing their cats, in an effort to control the cat population and end shelter euthanasia of healthy cats in our country.”
Our dog Yogi hated the cold, elevated examination table at the cancer clinic.
So veterinary oncologist Cheryl Harris got down on the floor to give him his chemotherapy treatments.
And they worked.
Thanks to Dr. Harris, Yogi enjoyed the highest quality of life with little discomfort. He continued his long walks in the woods and premier snuggling at home, with excessive spoiling.
Throughout Greater Cincinnati, Dr. Harris is the highly regarded, go-to specialist for many dogs and cats suffering cancer.
In her modest storefront clinic with six staff members, bulletin boards on the walls are crowded with pet photos and thank you notes. Sometimes pet owners are in tears in the waiting room. But more often than not, knowing that Dr. Harris is in charge, there seems to be a calm optimism.
For her excellence and compassion, Queen City Pets designates Dr. Harris as its first Pet Hero.
Check out the video of Dr. Harris treating Yogi.
Here is QCP’s profile of Pet Hero Cheryl Harris, D.V.M, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Oncology.
- Owner: Veterinary Oncology and Referral Clinic, 931 State Route 28, Suite 201; Milford, Ohio 45150.
- Degrees: DVM, The Ohio State University Veterinary College of Medicine; Internship at University of Minnesota; Residency at University of Illinois.
- Wild about Walnut Hills High School. A 1980 graduate, Dr. Harris says, “Walnut Hills is the reason I am who I am today.” She earned so many college credits in high school, that she was accepted to vet school at Ohio State after two years. “I don’t have an undergraduate degree,” she said, smiling.
- A sampling of her work day (about 14 hours): 35 appointments, only 25 scheduled; seven emergencies; then phone calls and about 1 ½ hours working on records at the end of the day, on the couch.
- Personal: Age 53. Single. Grew up in North Avondale; Lives in Blue Ash with her three German Shorthair Pointers, a cat and three fish. The dogs go to the office with her.
- Athletic: Dr. Harris ran long distance on Ohio State’s track team and continues to run with her dogs. She also mountain bikes and is one of only about 10 women out of 140 ice hockey players on the Huns Hockey Team locally.
- Avid reader: Dr. Harris likes mysteries and action/adventure writing. Currently she is reading “The Escape” by David Baldacci.
- Her wish: Cures for cancer, rather than just treatments.
- Her worry: That the cures, which she believes will happen, will not be affordable for most people, and so they will not survive in the marketplace.
- If she were not a vet…. Dr. Harris said she would sell running shoes, where the worst thing that could happen would be coping with “stinky feet.”