Petsmart Charities© Grant Will Benefit Dallesport with A Spay/Neuter Program
By Tracie Hornung
It will probably come as no surprise to cat lovers in the Columbia River Gorge that we have a huge population of free-roaming cats.
In an effort to significantly reduce that population, PetSmart Charities© recently awarded Catlink, a division of Rowena Wildlife Clinic, a $35,000 grant to fund spay/neuter clinics around the Gorge over the next two years. Dallesport is one of the communities targeted to provide free spay/neuters for free-roaming cats.
The goal of this program is to achieve zero-population growth of free-roaming cats through education, a humane trap-neuter-release program, and accessible sterilizations in isolated rural areas. The grant funds will be used for veterinary supplies, traps and carriers. All labor for the program, including that of the veterinarians, will be volunteered.
Approximately 1,800 cats will be spayed or neutered over the length of the grant period, which begins immediately. In the first 12 months, Catlink will concentrate on free-roaming cats in Dallesport, Goldendale, Klickitat, Lyle and Wishram. The second year will focus on Mosier, Dufur, Bingen, BZ Corners, Husum and White Salmon.
Last year Catlink spayed or neutered more than 1,500 free-roaming cats. Catlink is an all-volunteer organization with a mission to spay and neuter as many cats as possible, as quickly as possible for the least amount of cost, while giving wild cats the best quality life possible and putting no animal at risk.
The new program will also educate local people on the benefits of spaying and neutering free-roaming cats, as well as provide training and equipment to residents to trap cats.
Susan R. Kerr, a veterinarian on the Rowena Wildlife Clinic board of directors and the WSU-Klickitat County Extension director says, This grant will improve public health because fewer stray cats mean less excrement in yards, gardens and water; address public safety as more cats will be vaccinated for rabies; and – because many low-income people care for stray cats – it will address poverty by reducing the number of stray cats people have to feed.
Kerr is one of five local veterinarians who have agreed to take part in the program.
Volunteers are needed in every targeted community.If you would like to participate in making this program a success in Dallesport, please emailCatlink or call Marcia Buser at 509-365-2798. Learn more about Catlink.
Established in 1994, PetSmart Charities, Inc. is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that creates and supports programs that save the lives of homeless pets, raise awareness of companion animal welfare issues, and promote healthy relationships between people and pets. The largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North America, PetSmart Charities has provided $110 million in grants and programs benefiting animal welfare organizations and, through its in-store adoption program, helped save the lives of more than 4.2 million pets. To learn more about how PetSmart Charities is working toward its Vision of a lifelong, loving home for every pet, visit PetSmart Charities© or call 1-800-423-PETS.