If you live in the Chicago area and are feeling the pinch during the current financial crisis, check out the following low-cost recession-busting options for cat care:

  • LOW-COST RABIES SHOTS: Cook County will hold a series of community clinics to vaccinate animals for rabies at a discounted rate starting in June. A one-year vaccination will cost $7, and a three-year shot will cost $21. Microchips that trace a pet to its owner can also be inserted for $10. Visit the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control Web site for dates and locations.
  • LOW-COST MICROCHIP: Cook County will hold a series of community clinics at which microchips that trace a pet to its owner can also be inserted for $10. Visit the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control Web site for dates and locations.
  • LOW-COST VACCINATIONS: At the Banfield Animal Hospital located in PetSmart in Skokie, healthy pets can receive $15 to $35 vaccinations after seeing a veterinarian for free on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 2 to 4 p.m. The mandatory vet visit normally costs $35 alone.
  • LOW-COST SPAY/NEUTER: Many area clinics and shelters offer low-cost spay and neuter services, including the Anti-Cruelty Societys Spay/Neuter Clinic and PAWS Chicagos Lurie Clinic. At these facilities, fixing your cat costs between $10 and $30, while the service for dogs costs between $60 and $75.
  • FREE PET FOOD: On the third Thursday of every month, people with proof of unemployment, public aid disability or social security aid can receive free pet food from the Animal Welfare League at 6224 S. Wabash Ave. Families in need can also visit the Pooch Pantry at B.C Dog Training Club in Mundelein on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-noon and Wednesdays from 1-4 p.m.

[PHOTO CREDIT: SkyscraperLife.com]

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