DHSS Press Release
|Date: July 29, 2015
|Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
PETSMART CHARITIES AWARDS $200,000 GRANT TO REDUCE FREE-ROAMING CATS IN NEWARK, NEW CASTLE, AND BEAR, DE
NEWARK, DE (July 29, 2015) - PetSmart Charities today awarded a $200,000 grant to the nonprofit organization Forgotten Cats to reduce the number of free-roaming cats in Newark, New Castle, and Bear, DE. The grant was secured in collaboration with the Division of Public Health's (DPH) Office of Animal Welfare. Residents of ZIP codes 19701, 19702, 19711, 19713, and 19720 who can identify areas of feral, stray, or unconfined pet cats are asked to call Forgotten Cats at 302-429-0124.
"Collectively, our goal is to eliminate the free-roaming cat population and decrease the spread of rabies in our communities," said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. "The only approach that has proven effective is conducting large-scale, targeted sterilization and vaccination programs that result in healthier cats and healthier communities."
The grant provides free spay or neuter and rabies vaccinations to 4,000 free-roaming cats. It is estimated that between 8,000 and 12,000 free-roaming cats live in 19701, 19702, 19711, 19713, and 19720. Forgotten Cats specializes in a trap-neuter-vaccinate-return (TNVR) process, which ends the breeding cycle. By sterilizing a substantial percentage of community cats in a targeted area, TNVR prevents the birth of more unwanted cats and cat populations gradually decline.
TNVR results in fewer nuisance issues, protection for people and pets against rabies, and reduced animal homelessness and suffering. In Delaware, Harrington and Delaware City are the latest municipalities to successfully implement TNVR, abandoning old "catch and kill" methods which were costly and ineffective.
"As the largest funder of TNVR programs in North America, PetSmart Charities applauds Forgotten Cats and the Delaware Division of Public Health for embracing this humane, progressive approach for managing community cats," said PetSmart Charities Program Manager Bryan Kortis. "They are a model for all communities who want to effectively address this issue." Kortis flew in from Arizona to present the grant award.
"We are grateful to PetSmart Charities for this opportunity, and we are confident that this effort will succeed in reducing the community cat overpopulation in Delaware," said Felicia Cross, Forgotten Cats' founder and executive director. Since 2010, Forgotten Cats has sterilized nearly 90,000 cats, preventing over one million homeless kittens, Cross said.
The cats will be humanely trapped and taken to the Forgotten Cats clinic in Trainer, PA, to be spayed or neutered. All cats will be scanned for owner microchips so the owner can be contacted prior to sterilization. While under anesthesia, a small portion of the cats' left ears will be tipped for identification. The cats will receive rabies vaccinations by a licensed veterinarian and returned to where they were found, to live out their lives without future litters. Unowned kittens and cats that are friendly and socialized to people will be evaluated for adoption where possible, providing immediate reduction in free-roaming cat numbers.
"PetSmart Charities' generosity and Forgotten Cats' proven TNVR success will help maintain the high quality of life in Newark for all our residents, human and animal," said Newark Mayor Polly Sierer. "This is a great resource for Newark residents and we are thankful for it."
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Forgotten Cats at 302-429-0124, or visit www.forgottencats.org .
About PetSmart Charities: PetSmart Charities, Inc. is a nonprofit animal welfare organization that saves the lives of homeless pets. More than 400,000 dogs and cats find homes each year through our adoption program in all PetSmart stores and our sponsored adoption events. PetSmart Charities grants more money to directly help pets in need than any other animal welfare group in North America, with a focus on funding spay/neuter services that help communities solve pet overpopulation. PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization, separate from PetSmart, Inc.
About Forgotten Cats: Forgotten Cats was founded in 2003 to provide a humane and effective way to prevent the suffering of kittens born to abandoned and homeless cats by humanely controlling the homeless and feral cat population. This is done by working with colony caretakers to trap, neuter, vaccinate, and return (TNVR) every cat within a colony. Forgotten Cats is the only high-volume TNVR organization serving Delaware and surrounding states, sterilizing 10,000 animals each year in their two clinics.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.