Each year at FCCO we strive to help more feral cats. We want to help the cats in need in our communities and see a decrease in cat euthanasia rates in shelters. Increasing the number of cats spayed/neutered is critical to achieving this goal.
We spayed/neutered 6,621 cats this fiscal year! It may seem strange to talk about a record-setting year of spay/neuter surgeries in the fall, but FCCO’s fiscal year ends on September 30, so for us now is the perfect time to share this great news.
How does this compare to last year and what does this mean to the community? In 2011 we spayed/neutered 5,646 cats. This year we helped 17% more cats! And the results are adding up. The Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland reports a decrease of 10% in shelter intake and a 44% decrease in cat euthanasia rates last year. All great news for cats in our community!
Our incredibly dedicated staff works tirelessly to get the cats scheduled, train caregivers to successfully trap their cats, and safely care for each cat in our charge. They could not do it without our amazing volunteers, our generous donors, and the compassionate individuals in our communities who feed and look after feral and stray cats. Thank you one and all – you are helping those who can’t help themselves – and it is making a difference.
Amie is like many caregivers - she kindly put out a bowl of food for a few feral cats. Not yet altered, these cats had kittens and those kittens had kittens. Soon she was up to 41 feral cats. That's a huge number to feed, never mind the spay/neuter medical expense. She was grateful to find the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon. Not only did we have enough traps so that she could manage to bring the cats to clinics in just two trips (31 feral cats together on her first trip!), but we have generous donors that understand the importance of spaying/neutering who helped pay the medical expenses for the cats surgeries. Forty-one cats is a lot of cats, but Amie now knows the colony won't be producing any more kittens.
Last week a caregiver from Gresham, Oregon, brought a feral cat to our spay/neuter clinic. She borrowed a friend’s car to transport the cat. She reached in her pocket and donated $1.77 – it was all she had. She returned the now-altered cat to her yard. "One done. Two more to go."
At the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon, our goal is to spay and neuter as many free-roaming cats as possible, to alleviate suffering, and to prevent future generations of cats born in the wild. In order to fulfill this goal, we help every feral cat caregiver who comes to us in need of spay/ neuter services, regardless of their ability to donate.
The good Samaritans who care for feral cats bear a huge burden, both for the cats and their communities. Not only have they taken in cats who have been dumped, abandoned, and forgotten by others, but they spend their limited time and money to improve the quality of life for these cats. Many caregivers struggle to feed themselves and their families, but still are determined to provide for the feral cats in their care, and want to do the right thing by getting them spayed and neutered. By alleviating this financial hurdle, we are able to help many more cats and people in our community.
Each spay or neuter surgery costs approximately $30 for FCCO to perform, and we are able to help all the caregivers who come to our program, no matter how much they can donate, because of supporters like you. Thank you!
"Word of Mouth" is consistently the number one way that caregivers feeding feral and stray cats find out about the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon (FCCO) and our spay/neuter services. Knowing that, we have greatly increased our outreach campaigns in the past year to include a Facebook and Twitter presence, as well as providing flyers through the food bank and veterinary hospitals, as well as posting them on bulletin boards around town. Flyers are available in Spanish as well as English. We encourage everyone to spread the word about our services to their friends, family, neighbors and co-workers.
Anyone can be a caregiver - they just might not be talking about the stray cat that comes every morning to their back porch for food. But as long as there are intact feral and outdoor stray cats, litters of homeless kittens will continue to be born at an exponential rate. One caregiver recently reported that she had spayed/neutered “all but one of the cats” in the colony of ferals that she feeds. She now has an additional eight mouths to feed.
This past year we spayed/neutered almost 700 more cats than the previous year and hope to help 6,500 this next year. We will continue to get the word out about our program and services, but need your help. Follow our links and please spread the word!
The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon (FCCO) neutered its 50,000th cat on Friday, September 23, 2011, in Portland, Oregon. Helping this landmark number of cats underscores the need for our services, and the tremendous amount of work that remains.
The landmark cat was a 5-month old grey and white kitten from Kelso, Washington, named Oscar. He was born to a stray female cat who appeared outside the caregiver’s home last fall. He and his two siblings were all neutered at the clinic on the 23rd. His mother was spayed by FCCO earlier this summer. The caregivers feed 13 cats and all of them are now spayed/neutered!
In Portland last year, 6,555 cats were euthanized. The number one reason for this? There are simply more cats than available homes. This overpopulation results in abandoned cats, left to fend for themselves and breeding even more homeless cats. FCCO helps end this tragic cycle, giving both the cats and the community a humane and effective solution: Trap-Neuter-Return.
How many kittens have been prevented? If 50,000 cats had just one litter of four kittens each, there would be 200,000 more kittens. This year FCCO will spay/neuter over 5,000 cats. At just one litter of four kittens each, FCCO will prevent 20,000 kittens this year alone.
What do 50,000 cats look like? The average length of a cat, from head to tip of tail, is 30 inches. Line up 50,000 cats and you have 23.7 miles of feline – that’s a furry path from Beaverton, Oregon, all the way to Gresham, Oregon!
Who can help? Anyone feeding feral or outdoor stray cats can bring qualified cats to an FCCO clinic. The number to call for help with feral and stray cats is 503-797-2606 or visit www.feralcats.com for more information.
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