More than 600 cats have been spayed and neutered in the town of Comox and City of Courtenay thanks to a generous grant of $78,385 from PetSmart Charities of Canada and the results are already visible in the branch and in the community.
“We are seeing first hand the impact of this program in our branch,” says Emily Priestley, BC SPCA Comox Valley branch manager. “So far this year we have only one litter of stray kittens has come into the care of the branch and no kittens have been surrendered.”
In 2017 kittens coming in from the area the branch serves went down 47 per cent compared to the year before the program started. The overall intake cats and kittens has gone down 22 per cent during this time.
“Taking into account our intake this year to date and the knowledge that the majority of the surgeries of the program happened in the last eight months, we are expecting this to decrease further to a minimum of 40 per cent for 2018.” Priestley explains.
“And it’s more than just numbers. Before the grant was in place the branch was overwhelmed with kitten intake, struggling to provide what was needed for litters and limited by our number of foster homes. We relied on the internal BC SPCA Drives for Lives transfer program to manage the intake.”
Priestley is proud to share that now the shelter has significantly reduced the number of transfers out of the branch, and has instead become a branch with the resources and space to take in kittens from other areas of the province that are still dealing with high intake.
“It’s incredible the success we have seen in such a short amount of time, and we have heard from many cat guardians in the community who have been immensely grateful for this program.”
In order to maintain this success, Priestley says the BC SPCA continues 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 PetSmart Charities of Canada, Courtenay Veterinary Clinic, Comox Valley Animal Hospital, Shamrock Veterinary Clinic, Van Isle Veterinary Hospital and the Goat FM for their support and participation in making this program a success.