Guest Blogger: Cindy Kelly, Director of Communications & Development – Bucks County SPCA
Which are you more likely to see roaming freely in your neighborhood, cats or dogs? Besides the occasional dog who has escaped from their yard and gotten lost, you won’t see many dogs on the loose. The change is thanks largely to effective advocacy for neutering pet dogs.
Most Bucks County residents are more likely to see free roaming cats patrolling properties – wanted or not. That’s because of an overwhelming unneutered cat population and the high frequency of cat breeding.
The Bucks County SPCA (BCSPCA) has been caring for lost and unwanted animals for more than a century. In recent years, the number of cats brought to us for help has vastly outnumbered dogs. Over the last 12 months, felines accounted for 72% of the animals adopted from our shelters!
Under the leadership of Executive Director Linda Reider, the BCSPCA has expanded and launched several new efforts as part of a long-term plan to bring Bucks County’s cat population under control.
Foster Volunteer Program
More than 100 trained BCSPCA volunteer foster homes help raise and care for the huge number of unwanted kittens during the spring, summer and fall. BCSPCA provides the training and supplies – foster homes provide the time and TLC, usually for 2-6 weeks. Once the kittens are big and healthy enough, they come back to the shelter to be neutered, vaccinated and adopted.
Subsidized Cat Sterilization
BCSPCA now offers subsidized sterilizations for outdoor cats at both shelters in Lahaska and Quakertown. So far in 2018, we’ve performed more than 600 surgeries! Imagine how many kittens those cats would have had next year. Helping people get free-roaming cats in their area sterilized is a key to bringing outdoor cat populations and shelter populations under control.
Saving More Lives
Of the hundreds of kittens brought to BCSPCA’s shelters, many are sick and vulnerable and would not survive without lifesaving treatment by our shelter veterinary team. Animals leave our shelters in very good condition. Thanks to a compassionate pet-loving community, we are very successful placing special-needs and older pets.
“We are proud that our Live Release Rate has risen from the 60% range of 3 years ago, to an incredible average of 92% over the last 12 months. This is a huge accomplishment for an open-admission shelter,” said Reider. “Demand for our services continues to increase and we have a lot of work to do to help reduce cat overpopulation. We are grateful to everyone who adopts, volunteers or donates. Together we can bring an end to animal homelessness and suffering in Bucks County.”
How You Can Help
Cat overpopulation is a community-wide effort. Here’s how you can help:
- Spay and neuter your cats and any free-roaming cats you know of.
- Adopt a shelter cat! You’ll save a life and create space for us to help another animal in need.
- Become a foster volunteer. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Donate at bcspca.org or call 215-794-7425. BCSPCA is a donor-supported independent nonprofit. We rely on your support to feed shelter and care for thousands of animals each year. A gift of $40 to our cat spay/neuter program will provide one fee-waived cat sterilization for an income-stressed owner.