Tag Archives: April

kitten

Local clinic offers no-cost spay and neuter surgeries

During the month of April, Altered Tails, a 501c3 organization and the Valley’s largest spay/neuter clinic specializing in high quality, low cost services, is offering no-cost spay and neuter surgeries, plus free rabies vaccinations as part of “Community Cat,” PetSmart Charities’ spay/neuter campaign to alter free-roaming cats.

If left unaltered, unowned feral and stray cats produce large quantities of unwanted kittens each spring, flooding local animal shelters and leading to higher euthanasia rates.  By taking a proactive approach and getting the cats fixed now, Altered Tails will help lessen the impact of the coming kitten season.

Spaying and neutering is one of the most effective ways to reduce the homeless pet population and is safe for kittens as young as 10 to 12 weeks old, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Spaying a female cat before the first heat cycle can be beneficial, improving the health of the cat by reducing the risk of certain reproductive cancers and infections.

“Female cats can have as many as three litters a year, and kittens can breed as young as four months old,” says Ellen Clark, executive director for Altered Tails. “Most people don’t want to see the cats they’re feeding get pregnant over and over again, so our “Community Cat” campaign will serve as a gentle reminder to caretakers of free-roaming cat colonies to catch and sterilize their cats.”

This special free rate is available to all residents of Maricopa County. Residents feeding free-roaming cats who wish to take advantage of this offer must mention the “Community Cat” campaign when scheduling their appointment. Appointments are based on availability. Please call the Spay Neuter Hotline at 602-265-7729 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

PetSmart Charities’ “Community Cat” campaign will provide $634,692 to spay/neuter clinics across the United States to fund affordable, high-quality spay and neuter surgeries for 13,713 free-roaming cats during the month of April.

fulton

Home prices increase by most in 7 years

U.S. home prices jumped 12.1 percent in April from a year ago, the most since March 2006. More buyers and a limited supply of available homes have lifted prices in most cities across the country, a sign of a broad-based housing recovery.

“The increase in the number of people looking for a new home often runs parallel to a jump in home prices,” said Doug Fulton, CEO of Fulton Homes. “We are seeing steady growth in all of our communities, so it was no surprise to see the data from this new report. It’s great that more people are buying new homes, but it’s even more encouraging that more people are visiting our communities and showing serious interest in our homes.”

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index released Tuesday also rose 2.5 percent in April from March, the biggest month-over-month gain on records dating back to 2000.

All cities except Detroit posted gains in April from March. That’s up from only 15 cities in the previous month.

Prices rose from a year earlier in all 20 cities for the fourth straight month. Twelve cities posted double-digit gains. San Francisco, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Atlanta all had price increases over the past year of more than 20 percent, while Detroit and Los Angeles showed gains of nearly that much. Minneapolis posted a 15 percent gain.

The housing recovery is looking more sustainable and should continue to boost economic growth this year, offsetting some of the drag from higher taxes and federal spending cuts. Steady job gains and low mortgage rates have encouraged more people to buy homes.

David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee, said the housing recovery should continue even with mortgage rates rising. Borrowing rates have jumped after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said last week that the Fed could slow its bond-purchase program, which is intended to keep long-term interest rates low.

“Home buyers have survived rising mortgage rates in the past,” Blitzer said, “often by shifting from fixed rate to adjustable rate loans.”

Blitzer said the bigger issue for the housing market is banks’ willingness to lend. A recent survey by the Fed suggested some banks are easing credit standards.

Still, Stan Humphries, chief economist at real estate data provider Zillow, said rising rates and an increase in the number of sellers should temper price gains in the coming months.

“The national housing recovery is strong and sustainable, but pockets of volatility will emerge,” he said. “Buyers expecting home values to continue rising at this pace indefinitely may be in for a shock.”

The index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. It measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The April figures are the latest available.

Prices are rising because demand is up and fewer homes are available for sale. That’s made builders more optimistic about their prospects, leading to more construction and jobs.