(Bowling Green)—The Wood County Humane Society (WCHS) recently received a grant from the Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society (MRFRS) and PetSmart Charities to assist in managing the free-roaming feline population in Wood County. The grant period runs through February 2015 and the grant monies specifically are earmarked for providing free spay/neuter services and rabies vaccines of free-roaming, outdoor cats in the 43402 zip code. The organization’s goal for this pilot program is to spay/neuter 250 free-roaming felines while partnering with Humane Ohio, which is a low-cost, high-quality, accessible spay/neuter clinic in the Greater Toledo Area. The WCHS also hopes that its efforts will provide resources for and promote responsible pet care.
After the pilot program is completed in February of next year, the WCHS plans to expand the program to include all of Wood County. Expanding the program will depend largely on the organization’s successful fulfillment of the grant conditions for its pilot program, as well as additional fundraising efforts for the cause. The WCHS is accepting donations for their “Spay it Forward” campaign to be able to help assist with future spay/neuter surgeries for free-roaming cats.
According to Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, felines can start reproducing at four months of age, and have up to three litters a year. By spaying and neutering just one female and one male cat, area residents will be preventing more than 2,000 unwanted births in just four years. The rewards of spaying and neutering free-roaming cats are worth it, too. Colonies that are involved in Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) diminish in size over time, and their population quickly stabilizes by instantly ending reproduction. TNR relieves cats of the constant stresses of mating and pregnancy, and mating behaviors cease, like roaming, yowling, spraying, and fighting. Cats’ physical health improves, and the cats are vaccinated against rabies. Attempts to permanently remove cats from an area (their home) always fail because of a natural and scientifically-documented phenomenon known as the vacuum effect. In basic terms, whenever cats are removed, new cats move in, or the surviving cats left behind, breed to capacity. This grant will assist the WCHS in its mission to alleviate some of these problems in the 43402 zip code, but only with the support of local residents, as Shelter Manager Erin McKibben reminds. She urges, “Help us to help everyone be a part of the solution!”
Citizens of Wood County, who reside in the 43402 zip code, should contact the shelter at 419-352-7339 or WCHSSNIP@gmail.com to inquire about the full grant details and to set up an appointment for having free-roaming cat(s) spayed/neutered. The WCHS recommends that individuals schedule appointments as soon as possible, as space and funding are limited for this pilot program.
The WCHS, located in Bowling Green, Ohio, is a full-service, no-kill shelter providing care for homeless and abused pets and investigating cruelty complaints in Wood County. In addition, the organization assists Wood County residents with its Safe Haven and food assistance programs, spay/neuter transport, and educational presentations. The WCHS provides care for hundreds of animals each year—from dogs and cats, to horses, goats, and pocket pets. The non-profit organization is funded predominantly through donations from local individuals and businesses, Community Shares of Northwest Ohio (a workplace giving campaign), and fundraisers. The Wood County Commissioners help fund a Humane Agent, but the organization receives no additional funding from national humane organizations or the government. For more information on adopting and/or volunteering, see: http://www.woodcountyhumanesociety.org.