ST. PETERSBURG — SPCA Tampa Bay Veterinary Center recently announced it received a $50,000 grant from PetSmart Charities, a leading funder of animal welfare in North America, to help fuel its spay and neuter efforts in Pinellas County.

With the help of this grant, SPCA Tampa Bay Veterinary Center is offering spay and neuter services for cats and dogs for only $10 until June 26.

Pinellas County pet owners who can show proof of financial hardship can schedule a $10 spay or neuter surgery with SPCA Tampa Bay Veterinary Center — a service that typically costs $40 to $45 for cats and $60 or more for dogs.

“Overpopulation is a huge problem in Pinellas County, making shelters become overrun with unwanted litters,” said Martha Boden, CEO of SPCA Tampa Bay. “We are thankful for this grant from PetSmart Charities to help us provide reduced-cost spay and neuter services, and help us reduce the number of pets that become homeless.”

A cat that hasn’t been spayed can produce 2,107 kittens in only four years, and many of those kittens may go to local animal shelters. Pet owners can help reduce the number of homeless pets by spaying or neutering their pets, which prevents unexpected litters of kittens and puppies.

Spaying and neutering pets also increases their life expectancy, decreases the likelihood of certain types of cancer and saves money on future veterinary bills. Pet behavior often improves, too.

“We are pleased to support animal welfare organizations like SPCA Tampa Bay Veterinary Center, that bring accessible and affordable spay/neuter services to local communities. It is our hope that this initiative will increase opportunities for Pinellas County residents to access veterinary care services,” said Sima Thakkar, regional relationship manager at PetSmart Charities.

PetSmart Charities aims to proactively prevent pet homelessness. Since 1994, the organization has granted more than $100 million to support spay and neuter efforts across the United States.

To take advantage of reduced-cost spay and neuter services, pet owners must make an appointment by calling 727-220-1770 and pay a $10 fee to reserve the appointment. The appointment will be scheduled on a Wednesday through June 26.

Pet owners will drop off their dog or cat on their scheduled appointment day between 7:30 and 8:15 a.m. and pick up the pet on the same day between 3 and 5 p.m. The pet owner will need to show proof of financial hardship in the form of an EBT card, Medicaid status, pay stub or similar document.