For $50, a New Jersey animal shelter will ‘neuter your ex’

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By Dan Sears

Tell me you don’t have at least one ex who deserves a cone of shame.

It’s understandable to want to cut an ex out of your life. But if you’ve ever wanted to do something a little more dramatic after a breakup, the Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center in South Jersey says it’s glad to provide a sanctioned, responsible alternative that won’t get you in trouble with the cops.

For $50, the Blackwood-based shelter and clinic will “neuter your ex” — that is, it’ll name a feral cat after your most paw-sitively, cat-astrophically claw-ful (sorry) former partner, spouse or fling. Then Homeward Bound will responsibly perform the surgery that you can only, in your bitterest moments, dream of doing yourself.

It’s a special promotion for the run-up to Valentine’s Day, the center says, “because some things shouldn’t breed.”

Those interested can fill out this donation form, clicking the box for dedicating a gift and selecting the “in honor” option (some honor!). The center won’t put any exes on blast, but it will provide every donor with a picture of their ex’s namesake after a successful surgery.

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The form also provides an option for notifying someone about your dedication, so try to be kind.

“We’ve had someone who came in and they sent in a donation in honor of three of their ex-husbands, with a note saying ‘Should have learned after the first one,’” said Eric Schwartz, Homeward Bound’s development director.

By Friday afternoon, 36 hours after the center’s Facebook post advertising the campaign went up, the post had been shared more than 1,000 times. About 70% of the names submitted had been for male exes, according to Schwartz.

Homeward Bound takes in about 5,000 stray pets a year and is able to save 94%, he said. The center’s trap-neuter-release program spays or neuters feral felines, then releases them back to their colonies. That means fewer kittens born on the streets and fewer that ultimately need care from Homeward Bound or other rescue organizations.

The $50 fee for “Neuter Your Ex” only covers some of the costs associated with the TNR program; Schwartz estimated those are hundreds of dollars per cat. But he said Homeward Bound partners with several municipalities for funding and appreciates any donations to help ease the costs.

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The center is aiming to fix a few hundred cats by the time the promotion is over.

Later this month, Homeward Bound will start another promotion that’s a little less bitter and a little more sweet: Letting people sponsor heart-shaped cards for kennels and getting dogs special treats made by students with learning disabilities at Haddonfield High School, also in Camden County.

“You know, Valentine’s Day is a great day for a lot of people and it’s a tougher day for others,” Schwartz said. “And if we can make that a little lighter by having them send the donation our way, and we name a cat in honor of their ex who should not reproduce, then we’re happy to do that.”

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