Western News Staff
Born into a community cat colony with just one eye, Pirate, smaller than her litter mates, was unable to get the nutrition she needwed on her own but thanks to a BC SPCA grant she survived.
Through the organization’s Community Animal Spay/Neuter Grant, now entering its fifth year, non-profit community groups, veterinarians, First Nations communities, regional and municipal governments can get financial help to address animal overpopulation in their regions.
The Fernie Pets Society SNIP program received a grant in 2016 and thanks to that money the lives of over 80 community cats, including Pirate, have been changed for the better. There, through the Trap-Neuter-Return program, it has led to a happier, healthier feline population which is no longer reproducing.
“The BC SPCA Community Animal Spay/Neuter Grant was paramount in addressing cat overpopulation in our community,” said Tristin Zimmer, administrator of the Fernie SNIP program in a news release. “As a not-for-profit group, we would not have been able to afford to help spay and neuter at least 85 per cent of these colonies, which is what is needed to effectively control the populations.”
To date, the BC SPCA Community Animal Spay/Neuter Grant Program has enabled the spaying and neutering of 2,479 cats, 283 dogs and 100 rabbits.
As well as community cats who live outdoors, many in colonies, the grant also has made a positive impact in starting dialogue and making people more aware of issues like pet overpopulation, and finding humane solutions.
“The visible impact on the community is amazing. Not only have we been able to help these cats, and assist the caretakers, but it has also paved the way to push more education regarding cat overpopulation and animal abandonment in the area,” said Zimmer.
The BC SPCA Community Animal Spay/Neuter Grant Program is funded by legacy donations made by compassionate BC SPCA donors wishing to see an end to the suffering of homeless pets.
Through these grants, the BC SPCA is able to work with active community members and groups like the Fernie Pets Society to address cat overpopulation in British Columbia.
The BC SPCA is now accepting applications for the 2017 BC SPCA Community Animal Spay/Neuter Grant Program. Funding will be distributed to projects that better the welfare of a community’s most vulnerable companion animals. The application deadline is Dec. 31.