Friday, September 01, 2006
Feral Fixin'Several years ago, our management team got together to look at the future. A non-profit (or a business that matter) should always be several years ahead of the organization. What are the challenges on the horizon that might require changes in the way we utilize our generous support?
It was clear from all angles that, in the East Bay, we were beginning to get a handle on the overpopulation of dogs, at least in our community. That doesn't mean dogs don't end up homeless, and in need of new homes. But that does mean that there is beginning to be a balance between the number of homeless dogs and the resources, and space, available.
Good news for dogs. But we were no where near close to ending the overpopulation of cats.
While people react when they see a stray dog, folks rarely even notice the stray cat. The stray cat is silent, usually in hiding until the evening. And if homeless, as many of them are, they are very, very prolific, each cat creating hundreds and thousands of offspring in just a few short years.
Funded by our generous donors, the East Bay SPCA launched the Feral Fix Hotline in April of this year to provide support to the residents of Alameda and Contra Costa County, with regard to feral cats, especially providing free trap rental and free spay and neuter surgeries for individuals willing to follow Trap - Neuter - Return.
We are so proud of our success. In 2005, we performed 770 feral cat surgeries at no cost, most of them to clients who were assisted by our very dedicated partners at ICRA and Fix Our Ferals.
In 2006, with the launch of the Feral Fix Hotline, we are well over 700.
It's not going to be quick, but working together, animal welfare in the East Bay is making a big dent in the problem.
For more information on the East Bay Feral Fix, or if you'd like to volunteer, read about our program here: http://www.eastbayspca.org/feral