The Minnesota Spay and Neuter Project, or MSNP has been helping low-income families spay and neuter their pets for almost thirteen years. MSNP also provides rescue and foster care for cats that were abandoned or in homes that had too many cats (due to the overpopulation of cats, generally caused by animal owners not having their animals spayed or neutered). The agency has done this in order to control animal overpopulation. Made up of only volunteers, this agency is non-profit. In fact, the number of volunteers is surprisingly minimal.MSNP does not perform the surgeries of spaying and neutering, due to the laws surrounding the issue. However, they use the services of spay and neuter mobile unites such as MnSNAP and Kindest Cuts. The agency not only spays and neuters animals, it also microchips them so that if they are ever lost and a shelter finds them, their information can be found at any local animal shelter when the microchip is scanned. MSNP also takes in stray animals to spay and neuter, then adopts them out. There is a specific group of these animals that are considered "undesirable". Meaning they are too frightened or aggressive for people to choose them from an adoption center. These animals are kept by special volunteers who recruit more people to help nurture and socialize these animals in order to teach them that they need not be afraid of humans. After this animal therapy, many animals' attitudes are changed and good homes are found for them. MSNP serves the community by spaying and neutering animals in order to control the animal population, therefore lessening the amount of abuse and abandonment.
I chose this agency because I love animals and I have seen the effects of animal overpopulation firsthand. A house on my old street started feeding stray cats and by the time we moved about five years later, there was an excess of forty cats that lived on and around the property. People do not realize the problems that could be caused by so many animals without homes. Homeless animals become fearful of humans due to their abandonment or the abuse that led them to be homeless. I have a sore spot in my heart for abused and abandoned cats, so when I saw that I could spend a few hours a week talking to and nurturing cats who have been wronged by people; I really wanted to make a difference to these cats The organization also works with dogs, but the particular section I work with pertains only to cats. The volunteering becomes so fulfilling when I get to see cats adopted that weeks ago wouldn't come out of her litter box. Since I started at MSNP with my coordinator Frieda, all the cats have shown progress socially. There is not much more in life that means more to me.
Despite the differences between cats' brains and humans' brains, I still hope to learn more about psychology by socializing these cats. I truly believe that cats become submissive, scared, or aggressive in response to stress the same way humans do. The way I see it, if I want to help people overcome their pasts someday, starting with cats is a logical step forward. I also expect to learn how to spread the knowledge of the growing problem of overpopulation and the importance of spaying and neutering animals. Since I started this project, I would never consider going to a pet store, puppy mill, or any breeder to get an animal. I will always adopt because every living being deserves a second chance at a happy life.