A recent grant from PetSmart Charities™ of Canada will go a long way in addressing the province’s cat overpopulation crisis in Dawson Creek. The $78,010 grant will go toward spaying and neutering 650 cats in the city of Dawson Creek this year, both owned cats as well as free-roaming felines in a downtown colony.
“We are thrilled to receive this grant and will work with pet guardians in this city to reduce the suffering of unwanted and abandoned cats in the area,” says Wendy Davies, BC SPCA South Peace Branch manager.
“Cat overpopulation is one of the most serious animal welfare issues facing communities across B.C. and Dawson Creek is no exception.”
In the past three years, the branch has cared for an average of 315 felines per year, with 50 per cent of those being kittens from unwanted litters.
“By supporting established spay/neuter programs operated by leading animal welfare organizations like the BC SPCA, PetSmart Charities™ of Canada hopes to prevent pet homelessness before it starts. Our collaborative efforts will significantly reduce the total intake of cats and kittens into shelters in Dawson Creek,” says David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., and president of PetSmart Charities™ of Canada.
While the spay/neuter program is free, recipients will be asked to donate back $40 to the fund if possible, enabling the SPCA to help even more animals.
This grant will build on the success of the “Fix Your Cat Right Away” campaign that was launched in March 2016 to start the process of addressing spay/neuter needs in the community. With 160 surgeries available during the spring, the community jumped on the opportunity and vouchers for surgeries were given out in record time. The City of Dawson Creek Animal Responsibility Bylaw that encourages spay/neuter and permanent identification for cats has significantly contributed to the success of the 2016 program, Davies notes.
“It takes an entire community to tackle an issue of this size, and we couldn’t do it alone,” she says.
In addition to PetSmart Charities™ of Canada, the BC SPCA is grateful to the Dawson Creek Veterinary Hospital and South Peace Veterinary Hospital for assisting with the project by providing the spay/neuter surgeries at a discounted rate. We are also grateful to Peace FM & CHET TV, as well as CJDC TV for their generous commitment to a public service campaign for the program.
To pick up a voucher for a spay neuter appointment, please visit the branch in person.