Cranbrook community on the road to success in battling cat overpopulation
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Cranbrook community on the road to success in battling cat overpopulation

January 4, 2017

The results are in. And they’re impressive. Thanks to a Pet Smart Charities® of Canada grant of $83,957 awarded to the BC SPCA East Kootenay Branch in 2015 to help address the community’s cat overpopulation crisis, intake of stray kittens at the branch dropped by 40 per cent in 2016 compared to 2015, and more than 750 cats in the area were spayed and neutered.

“We’ve seen significant results and we’re so grateful,” says BC SPCA East Kootenay Branch manager Brenna Baker.

“The grant has also helped to raise the value of spaying and neutering, while helping us build relationships with community members and partners.”

The grant helped to sterilize outdoor cats, aiding in getting several colonies under control, but the focus was on getting owned cats and kittens in Cranbrook and the surrounding area spayed or neutered, Baker notes.

“We were able to help pet guardians from all walks of life get their cats and kittens sterilized,” Baker says, recalling how she delivered a spay/neuter voucher to a local senior living on a low income with accessibility challenges. When she arrived, she discovered the cat in question had recently had nine kittens.

“Thanks to the grant, we were able to spay and neuter the momma cat and the kittens, and as the kittens were surrendered into our care, they were all adopted into new homes as soon as they were old enough,” Baker says.

“This is just one example of how the grant enabled us to make a difference in the lives of cats and cat guardians.”

A major focus of the BC SPCA’s five-year Strategic Plan is addressing B.C.’s massive cat overpopulation problem, as tens of thousands of outdoor cats are left to fend for themselves outside, suffering from illness, injury, starvation, predator attacks and more.

“Even though we’ve seen a significant reduction in the number of unwanted stray kittens in Cranbrook this year, the problem is not yet solved,” says BC SPCA outreach coordinator Marieke van der Velden, who oversees the society’s cat spay/neuter prevention programming for the province.

“We continue to urge all residents to not only have their own cats spayed and neutered, but to also take action to ensure that all stray and feral cats in their community are fixed as well.”

The BC SPCA would like to thank Pet Smart Charities®, Steeples Veterinary Clinic, Tanglefoot Vet, Cranbrook Veterinary Hospital, Kootenay Vet Clinic, NorthStar Vet, B-104 Radio, and the City of Cranbrook for their support and participation in making this project successful.

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