CCSPCA launching Community Cat program

Chester County SPCA Awarded $300k Grant for Community Cat Program

Grant will support CCSPCA’s lifesaving work for homeless animals

The Chester County SPCA (CCSPCA) is proud to announce that the shelter has received a large grant from PetSmart Charities™ to help control the cat populations in both Chester and Delaware Counties.

PetSmart Charities has awarded a $305,320 grant to the CCSPCA for the spaying and neutering of approximately 4,700 free-roaming cats over a 26-month period in an effort to properly address and manage the cat overpopulation problem in the community.

The shelter’s new Community Cat Program will focus on identifying areas with significant cat populations and offer services and support for the residents of those communities. Cats will be humanely trapped, taken to the CCSPCA’s Animal Health Center to be spayed or neutered and vaccinated, and then returned to the location they were found to live out their lives.

Delaware County as a whole was identified as the program’s targeted area in the grant proposal submitted to PetSmart Charities. Since 2012, the CCSPCA has been caring for Delaware County’s animals by providing stray boarding and adoption services for homeless animals found within the county.

“The Delaware County Animal Protection Board is thrilled to learn of the grant. This will greatly help reduce the cat overpopulation problem so many of our municipalities are dealing with,” said Brian Razzi, Chairman of Delaware County Animal Protection Board.

CCSPCA staff is confident that the implementation of the Community Cat Program will reduce the number of cats entering the shelter and ultimately decrease the organization’s feline euthanasia rate. In 2014, 74% of the cats received by the shelter were brought in as strays, many of which were free-roaming cats thriving in the community.

Unfortunately, the CCSPCA faces the same problem as most shelters across the country: the number of cats entering the facility is greater than the number of adoptive homes available. The shelter’s annual live release rate for cats in 2014 was 77% and staff leadership expects to see that number increase with the help of PetSmart Charities grant funding.

Adam Lamb, CCSPCA Executive Director, has seen the lifesaving capabilities of Community Cat Programs first-hand throughout his decade-long career in animal welfare. “Targeted spay/neuter programs are an integral part of the no-kill movement,” said Lamb. “It represents a shift in the way a community views animals: they deserve to live and they deserve to be advocated for.”

The industry-wide goal to be considered a no-kill organization in the animal welfare community is to achieve a live release rate of at least 90%. The CCSPCA has met and surpassed the 90% live release goal to achieve no-kill status in each of the last four months. Only a small number of open admissions shelters across the country have met and maintained the no-kill criteria and the CCSPCA is one of the first to do so in Pennsylvania.

The significant progress made by the shelter in recent months has been celebrated by the organization’s leadership. “The Chester County SPCA is on the move and this new grant signals the landmark changes that are benefiting companion pets in our community,” said CCSPCA Board President, David Long. “The Board of Directors is solidly behind this exemplary effort and extends sincere gratitude to PetSmart Charities for helping our organization save and protect the lives of animals in our area.”

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