FoCCAS gets grant to help community cats | News | The Press and Standard

by | January 20, 2017 5:00 am

Last Updated: January 18, 2017 at 10:59 am

Friends of Colleton County Animal Shelter (FoCCAS) recently received a $7,000 grant from the Petco Foundation to aid the organization in its new endeavor to reduce the number of cats that are being euthanized in the Colleton County Animal Shelter each week.
The program, Colleton Cats, was inspired by a conference attended by two FoCCAS volunteers this summer that was sponsored by No Kill South Carolina, also sponsored by the Petco Foundation. Laura Clark, FoCCAS vice president of shelter affairs, and Pam Baer left that conference with a plan to empower and enable Colleton County residents to help control the free-roaming cats in their communities. Clark began looking for funding for the plan and was pleasantly surprised when the grant application was funded.
The application requested funding to purchase additional humane traps for the public to borrow and to assist with the cost of surgically altering the cats, as well as vaccinating them against unwanted diseases such as rabies. Many communities like Jacksonville, Fla., and Austin, Tx., have programs like this and have experienced great success with managing the colonies of cats so they reap the benefits of having the cats in the community and avoid some of the problems that result when the population becomes too great to support.
Colleton County Animal Shelter took in 920 cats in 2016, through public drop off and animal control officer trapping. Of those cats, 746 were then euthanized and disposed of in the county landfill. “Even if you don’t care about the cats, you have to admit that is not the best use of our taxes — to run vehicles all over the county to trap cats, then kill them and put them in our landfill,” said Clark. “For those of us who do care about cats, but realize how quickly they reproduce, this will hopefully be the means by which we can begin to actually solve the problem in a more civilized manner. We are so grateful for the support of our Walterboro Petco store and the Petco Foundation for their support of our efforts.”
The Colleton Cats program will allow Colleton County residents to check out traps in order to catch the cats and then take them to one of two low-cost clinics to have the cats spayed or neutered and vaccinated at a cost of $10 per cat.
According to Clark, this is just the first phase of the group’s efforts to improve the situation in Colleton with regards to cats. “We are a volunteer based group. We don’t have the resources that many large counties have in terms of funding or paid staff, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do something to change this sad problem. The resources our county shelter uses to kill perfectly healthy cats could be used for so many other worthwhile things. When managed properly, these cats can actually benefit the areas they live in. We want to move in the direction that communities such as Charleston, Greenville, Aiken and Anderson have taken.”
More information about the Colleton Cats program will be available soon through the FoCCAS website and local news media.
To view the adoptable animals visit http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/SC103.html or for more information email foccas.sc@gmail.com.
FoCCAS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2009 which provides volunteers and fundraising to supplement the Colleton County Animal Shelter in Walterboro. Donations to FoCCAS are tax deductible. Proceeds and donations are used for the needs of the homeless animals at the shelter including bedding, food and medical treatment, as well as community outreach and education programs.

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