The Homeless Animals Relief Project (HARP) is a small, nonprofit 501(c)3 charity located in Tate County in North Mississippi. We offer low cost or sometimes free cat spay/neuter or birth control surgery to cats living with the poor, and for wild or community cats.
Established in 1997 and incorporated in 2000, we've provided free or very low-cost spay or neuter surgery (animal birth control surgery) to over 20,000 pets. Your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Please help us help more cats by donating or volunteering today.
Read on to discover more about our volunteer group.
Photo is courtesy of fixbyfive.org. Visit them to learn why fixing cats by age five months is the key to reducing cat overpopulation and suffering.
1. We focus our efforts on spay and neuter, because “fixing” cats STOPS the production of unwanted litters and homeless cats who then require rescue, homes, medical care, sheltering, and euthanasia when homes are not found.
Fixing pets dramatically reduces the need for rescue. Spay/neuter is the SUSTAINABLE and cost-effective solution to animal suffering.
2. Because of the ever-increasing number of well-funded dog rescues in our area and the overwhelming needs and rapid reproduction of cats, we are focused on cats exclusively at this time.
3. We have no paid staff. You will be assisted by an unpaid volunteer when you call or email. HARP receives NO government funds or assistance nor state, local, or federal support.
We rely upon grants and donations to pay for these surgeries and the generosity of veterinarians in offering this lifesaving care to cats at a reduced cost. The number of cats we can help is the direct result of the number of donations or grants we receive.
4. Qualifying for our free or very low-cost spay neuter program requires that the cat owner receive public assistance, be disabled, or have special financial circumstances. Proof of income is required. We do make exceptions on a case-by-case basis, so please call if you are unsure if you qualify.
5. We are unable to offer free or discounted spay/neuter surgery to cats adopted from shelters or rescues. ALL responsible shelters and rescues spay or neuter cats before releasing them, and our board guidelines forbid us from supporting the illogical practice of adopting out fertile cats.
6. When we schedule surgery at private veterinary clinics, we may meet you in our area or ask that you drive the cat(s) to that clinic yourself.
7. HARP does NOT own or operate a shelter for unwanted or homeless animals. Regrettably, we cannot take in unwanted animals. Call your local municipal shelter or your elected officials for help. You may consider contacting area cat rescues too. However, if you are aware of an injured or suffering cat, please give us a call and we'll try to help.
8. As our goal is to stop the reproduction of kittens, we want both female and male cats to come for surgery. A male cat can father dozens of kittens every year, while a female will produce about 3–15 kittens per year.
9. Cats can come into heat as early as 14 weeks of age, so it is crucial to get kittens in for surgery by five months of age.
It is safe to spay or neuter kittens as young as eight weeks with a weight of two pounds. Kittens fixed before they go to a new home will never be a part of the cat overpopulation situation.
10. Cats can be safely and humanely spayed, even if they've been bred. If you're unsure if your cat has been bred, give us a call. We may be able to get her to a veterinarian for an exam and professional advice.
11. If you're caring for feral (wild, unsocialized) cats, we likely can loan humane traps (deposit required) and offer deeply discounted or sometimes free spay/neuter surgery.
We provide a free three-year rabies vaccination at the time of surgery, along with tipping the left ear of the cat for quick identification as a sterile cat. See our feral cat page for more.
12. Sometimes we may have volunteers available to pick up, transport, recover, or trap cats in our area, but this is not guaranteed. However, please do call. We will do what we can to help you help your cats.
13. While we are not a rescue group, if you know of a cat who is injured or suffering, please call. We will do what we can to stop the suffering.
Director Denise Bynum accepts the award for HARP as one of the top nonprofits in MS from the MS Alliance of Nonprofits & Philantrophy and the MS Business Journal in 2022 and again in 2023!
It's the proactive solution to animal overpopulation and suffering, and it has health benefits to your cat too. Males typically stop roaming and coming home with bite wounds and trauma, they stop spreading disease by breeding, and they often will stop spraying behaviors. Females are no longer at risk of uterine infections or obstetric complications, their heat cycles stop and male cats don't come around. Fixed cats cost less to care for too: Bite wound abscesses, trauma, uterine infections, breast cancer — all are reduced!
Visit unitedspayalliance.org, fixbyfive.org,neighborhoodcats.org, communitycatspodcast.com and other humane sites for more complete information on the health benefits of spay neuter for your cat.
Call (662) 292-0922 to see if you qualify.
With his mother's whereabouts unknown, this orphan kitten was raised by a female cat abandoned with a fractured leg. She had three kittens with her when abandoned. They vanished before we could help them, and their fate is unknown. Spay/neuter surgery prevents this suffering.
Found wandering alone on a busy highway when she was three weeks old, this cat was spayed and now lives with the person who picked her up. Spay/neuter surgery prevents litters of kittens who wander hungry and alone alongside busy highways, and for whom there likely will be no homes.
Go to YouTube and search for @homelessanimals.
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