Crookston Shelter identifies cats who've been "snipped" with a - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Crookston Humane Society identifies cats who've been "snipped" with a clip

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Ada, Minnesota's Stacy Scheving loves animals.

"She's a smart puppy. She can do like 14 different tricks," she says, gesturing to one of three dogs in her lap.

While looking at the Polk Co. Humane Society in Crookston for a cat for her daughter, she noticed a notch in one of the cat's ears and thought it had fallen victim to frostbite.

"The guy there said 'No, we do that to all of them.' I was just...'What?!'" she says.

Scheving says she had never seen that before.

"He said 'Yeah we do that so that if they end up back in here again, we'll know if they've been fixed or not,'" she says.

So she called the Valley News Live whistleblower line and we went to talk to the shelter. It's been run off of donations, adoption fees and the upstairs thrift store since it was started 35 years ago by Mary Solberg.

"I love animals and I hate to see what people do to their animals. Our goal here has been to help as many as we can," says Solberg.

With more than 40 available cats, Solberg says the notches help identify the cats who have been fixed if they don't have distinguished markings.

"The veterinarian, when he spays or neuters them, takes a little notch out of the left ear and that way we can tell that the cat has been altered," she says.

She says unless the cat is a mature male, it can be hard to tell- and they don't want cats going in for surgery again by mistake.

"Nobody wants to undergo surgery twice for the same thing," says Solberg.

Although the notch takes away from the ear, Solberg says it doesn't take away from the cat's personality or health. 

We spoke to a few shelters in the Fargo-Moorhead area who say ear clipping is not out of the ordinary. 

The Fargo-Moorhead Humane Society says they use microchips to identify cats and record information about whether or not it has been fixed. 

As far as microchipping in Crookston, the manager says they will consider that when funds are available.

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