In less than six months, all 350 subsidized spay/neuter surgeries made available to residents of Salmon Arm through a generous $62,000 grant from PetSmart Charities® of Canada, have been completed.
“The first month we scheduled more than 120 surgeries and the project kept its momentum from then on,” says Victoria Olynik, manager at the BC SPCA Shuswap Branch. “The support and eagerness shown by the community for this project clearly demonstrates the need Salmon Arm had to address the cat overpopulation situation.”
The grant, which fixed a total of 375 cats in the last six months, is already making an impact in the community.
“Kitten intake has been significantly lower this year to date compared to previous years and we have been able to assist surrounding areas by taking in cats, whereas previously we had struggled to help our own community due to the sheer volume of cats and kittens that were in need of our care and support,” Olynik highlights.
The branch has heard many anecdotes from participants of how the program has provided relief and a lifeline for cat owners. It has helped to prevent unwanted litters, solve behaviour issues and ensure that families could stay together.
“We heard from a family who had an indoor cat and was being driven crazy with her behaviour every time the cat went into heat. They weren’t able to afford the surgery and they let us know this program was a lifesaver for them,” shares Olynik. “Thanks to the surgery the behaviour issues went away and they were able to keep the cat in the family.”
“Although the branch is starting to see the impact from the program, there are still many cats in need in our community,” says Olynik. “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.”
“At PetSmart Charities® of Canada, we’re strong believers of the benefits of spay/neuter programs like the ones underway in several communities and shelters through the oversight of the BC SPCA,” says Dani Mailing, regional relationship manager at the leading animal welfare charity. “Grants like this are helping to prevent pet homelessness before it starts while also helping pet parents who want to do the right thing for their cat, but may need a little financial support to do so.”
Thanks to the contributions from program participants, the branch can help a limited amount of low income families get the help they need to fix their cat. Please contact the shelter for more information.