February 28, 2008
Cleveland APL Opens Spay/Neuter Clinic for Homeless Animals
Are you concerned about the number of homeless cats living on the streets, or the number of homeless animals in area shelters and rescue group foster homes? Well, the Cleveland APL is, and starting this Friday will offer a new program geared toward curbing the number of unwanted cats and dogs being born every day and every year.
On February 29th, the APL’s NEW Animal Welfare Spay/Neuter Clinic will officially open its doors to other area shelters, 501(c)(3) humane societies and rescue groups, and feral cat caregivers to provide affordable, low-cost spay or neuter services. Right now, approximately 30% of the animals available for adoption in area humane societies, rescue groups and municipal shelters have NOT been spayed or neutered. In many cases, the reason is financial … agencies and caregivers just can’t afford customary surgery fees for the number of animals they’re trying to help, especially the smaller nonprofit groups, and not every caring, compassionate veterinarian can afford to provide discounted fees to groups caring for homeless animals. In other cases, long waits for surgery mean animals are missing their chance to get out of a cage and into a home. The Cleveland APL wants to help its fellow animal advocates eliminate these barriers. So far, the Cuyahoga County Kennel, For the Love of Pits, PAWS, and the Portage Animal Protective League have partnered with the APL’s Animal Welfare Clinic to extend their reach and ability to serve more animals.
The Animal Welfare Clinic will also provide spay and neuter services for caregivers of feral cats who know how or are willing to learn how to use humane trapping methods. Feral cats are wild, undomesticated cats that live and breed on our streets and in our neighborhoods. Based on Cuyahoga County and Cleveland human census numbers, it is estimated that there are 225,000 feral cats living in Cuyahoga County and 75,000 in the City of Cleveland. A true feral cat cannot be socialized and adopted, so the options for them are extremely limited. A process called Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) is a humane and proven solution to the problem.
TNR involves humane trapping of the cats, transporting them for neutering, and then returning cats to their colony or original location. They then live out their days being monitored by a caregiver, no longer reproducing and creating increasing numbers of unwanted kittens and cats. Eventually, the colony will go away on its own. People interested in participating in the APL’s TNR program will need to trap and transport cats to and from the APL. Traps can be rented for $1 per day or $5 per week. The fee for surgery for a feral cat in the APL’s Animal Welfare Clinic is $40 and includes a FVRCP vaccination, rabies vaccination, and an ear tip.
Cleveland APL Executive Director Sharon Harvey said, “The Cleveland APL is and will continue to be committed to doing its part in creating a day when every pet has a home. We applaud the humane societies, rescue groups and individuals that have been doing TNR and spaying and neutering their adoptable animals for years. We now hope to make their lives a little easier by reaching out to them, as well as to other groups and individuals that haven’t been able to afford spay/neuter in the past! Ultimately, this is about working together to help more animals so we can reach a time when there are no more homeless pets.”
The start-up of the Cleveland APL Animal Welfare Spay/Neuter Clinic was made possible by generous support from the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, a KeyBank Trust, the ASPCA, PetSmart Charities and the Ferry Family Foundation. There will be a check presentation at 2 pm.
For more information about low-cost spay/neuter services and fees at the Cleveland APL, visit www.ClevelandAPL.org. Shelters and rescue groups can call 216.771.4616; ext. 126 and feral cat caregivers can call 216.771.4616; ext. 124 with questions.