|Lake County Animal Care and Control has received a new grant to help spay and neuter community cats in Kelseyville, Calif. Photo courtesy of Lake County Animal Care and Control.|
LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – Lake County Animal Care and Control is getting some more help in its efforts to reduce the county’s feral cat population and high rate of feline euthanasia.
Animal Care and Control Director Bill Davidson said his department has received another grant for spaying and neutering of community cats, this time from PetSmart Charities, based in Phoenix, Ariz.
The two-year PetSmart Charities grant is for $32,880, and will be used to focus on the Kelseyville area, Davidson said.
“Kelseyville was chosen since it was the area which offered the biggest chance of success,” Davidson said.
The goal is to drop the Kelseyville cat population’s reproductive capability by 75 percent within the two years, Davidson explained. It will focus on community cats, defined as free-roaming felines that don’t have a specific home.
In the grant’s first year, $20,000 will be used to alter 400 cats, with another 250 cats to be altered in the second year, paid for by the remaining $12,880, he said.
In addition, the grant will fund traps, allow Animal Care and Control to hire a part-time driver to pick up and deliver cats, and also pay for advertising for the program, according to Davidson.
Lake has the highest feline euthanasia rate of any county in the state, according to a June 2011 report from Dr. Richard Bachman, DVM, director of Veterinary Services for Contra Costa County and owner/operator of Shelter Medicine Support.
Bachman, along with Dr. Anthony Wong, now works with the in-house veterinary program that opened at the shelter in March, as Lake County News has reported.
According to Lake County Animal Care and Control’s 2011-12 annual report, 2,038 cats that the shelter took in during that fiscal year – or 81 percent – were euthanized. That’s compared to a 41-percent euthanasia rate that year for the 1,470 dogs that arrived at the shelter, of which 606 were put down.
That same report showed that the cat euthanasia rate would have been several percentage points – in the 88-percent range – had it not been for the 173 community cats that Animal Care and Control was able to spay or neuter and then return to their homes.
Davidson said the county of Lake’s grant writing team – specifically Karen McDougall, a talented and successful grant writer – helped land the new PetSmart grant.
PetSmart Charities, www.petsmartcharities.org , offers a number of grants to help communities address pet population issues, from support to purchase spay/neuter clinic equipment to free-roaming cat and targeted spay-neuter programs.
At its Tuesday meeting the Board of Supervisors adopted a consent agenda that included a resolution approving a grant contract with PetSmart Charities and appropriating the unanticipated revenue to Budget Unit 2703 and 2711 to fund the Community Cat Spay/Neuter Project in Kelseyville.
In June, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals awarded Animal Care and Control a $10,000 grant to increase community cat spay and neuter programs, as Lake County News has reported.
Davidson said that grant is moving along well for his department, and they expect to have finished it by late February.
He said they actually had to stop taking appointments for spay and neuter surgeries at one point because they were booked out by two months. However, he said this week that they are once again back on track and are scheduling surgeries.
For more information on the community cat program, call Animal Care and Control at 707-263-0278.
Visit Animal Care and Control online at http://www.co.lake.ca.us/Government/Directory/Animal_Care_And_Control.htm or keep up with them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/L.C.AnimalControl?ref=ts&;fref=ts .
Email Elizabeth Larson at [email protected] . Follow her on Twitter, @ERLarson, or Lake County News, @LakeCoNews.