Pirate was born into a community cat colony with just one eye. Smaller than her littermates and not getting the proper nutrition, she got the help she needed thanks to a BC SPCA grant.
“The BC SPCA Community Animal Spay/Neuter Grant was paramount in addressing cat overpopulation in our community,” says Tristin Zimmer, administrator of the Fernie Pets Society SNIP program, a recipient of a 2016 grant. “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. Now entering its fifth year, the program continues to target and impact community cats across British Columbia. The program is designed to support non-profit community organizations, veterinarians, First Nations communities and regional and municipal governments working to address pet overpopulation in their local areas.
The Fernie Pets Society has changed the lives of 80 community cats, including Pirate, so far this year. Through spaying and neutering, the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) approach has led to happier, healthier community cats who are no longer reproducing. 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,” says 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. To learn more or apply for a grant, please visit spca.bc.ca/spayneutergrant.