The BC Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announced today that it has received a $110,900 grant from PetSmart Charities® of Canada for the spaying and neutering of cats in Port Alberni. BC SPCA chief executive officer Craig Daniell told community members gathered at the SPCA’s Alberni-Clayoquot Branch that the SPCA’s goal is to sterilize at least 800 cats over the next two years.
“Cat overpopulation is one of the most serious animal welfare issues facing communities across B.C. and Port Alberni is no exception,” said Daniell. “We are extremely grateful to PetSmart Charities® of Canada for allowing us to work with pet guardians in Port Alberni to reduce the suffering of unwanted and abandoned cats in the region.”
Daniell said the BC SPCA spends nearly $2 million each year on low-cost spay/neuter initiatives in B.C. communities and tries to target communities with the most serious pet overpopulation problems. Last year, 859 animals were rescued by the SPCA in Port Alberni, a much higher intake than other B.C. communities with the same human population. For example, animal intake at the Port Alberni SPCA was 110 per cent higher last year than in nearby Parksville/Qualicum Beach, which has a comparable human population.
Daniell noted that of the 859 animals cared for by the Port Alberni SPCA last year, 415 were cats or kittens, and 115 of these were kittens from unwanted litters.
“We have to stop this cycle of suffering and we believe that the PetSmart Charities® grant will enable us to significantly reduce the total intake of cats and kittens at the shelter by 2015.”
All low-income cat guardians living in Port Alberni are eligible to apply to the spay/neuter fund. While the program is free, recipients will be asked to donate $30 back to the fund if possible to enable more animals to be helped.
In addition to PetSmart Charities® of Canada, Daniell said the BC SPCA is grateful to Manzini Animal Hospital and the Bute Street Veterinary Clinic for assisting with the project and to The Peak 93.3 for their generous promotional support.
To apply for the fund or for more information, please contact the Alberni-Clayoquot SPCA Branch at 250-723-5269 or in person at the shelter, 4936 Broughton Street, Port Alberni.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.