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(Photo by Jake Remington)

Community Cats Spay/Neuter Funding: A Clarification

(Photo by Jake Remington)
(Photo by Jake Remington)
We have received many calls and e-mails from people expressing concern about the changes in funding for spay/neuter for community cats in New York City. It appears that many people have reacted to erroneous information that has been communicated by different sources. We’d like to provide some clarification.

In 2011, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals acquired a one-year grant for the Maddie’s® Spay/Neuter Project for Stray Community Cats in NYC. This first-time-ever grant funded low-cost spay/neuter for community cats through private practice veterinarians, as well as non-profit organizations (the ASPCA, The Toby Project, and The Humane Society of New York). The grant was unique, in that funding for feral cat spay/neuter by private veterinarians had never before been available. We are extremely grateful to Maddie’s Fund for offering this support for feral cat spay/neuter, and for giving us the opportunity to see just how successful a program based upon a new model — one that involves private practice vets — can be. We and Maddie’s Fund are extremely pleased with the tremendous response and participation by New York City’s feral cat community — veterinarians and caretakers alike.

However, the Maddie’s® Spay/Neuter Project for Stray Community Cats in NYC was a one-year grant that ended on December 31, 2011. Because of the enthusiasm generated by this program, and by carefully managing the funds, we hoped to continue to fund the program through June 2012. But because the program has been so successful and participation by private practice veterinarians far surpassed anyone’s expectations, current funding for the program has been exhausted as of March 31. In effect, our success with this program brought it to an earlier end than we anticipated.

We are currently seeking new sources of funding to restore the community cats spay/neuter program. It is incredibly difficult to obtain large-scale funding for feral cat programs. This is why we are extremely grateful to Maddie’s Fund for their generous support in making an increased number of spay/neuter surgeries for New York City’s stray and feral cats possible throughout 2011.

While we seek new funding sources for this incredibly valuable and well-received program, rest assured that all of the other feral cat spay/neuter resources and services previously available will remain available. The ASPCA, The Toby Project, and The Humane Society of New York will continue to provide free or low-cost spay/neuter for feral cats. Muffin’s MAMA Coupons will continue to be available. In fact, all of the spay/neuter services described on the NYC Feral Cat Initiative of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals website will continue to be available. Bear in mind that over the past year, the ASPCA has ramped up its spay/neuter capability for feral cats through its Glendale clinic.

The NYC Feral Cat Initiative will continue to provide its services to the NYC feral cat community, including free trap loans and rentals, transports of cats and traps, straw and food giveaways, and other services.

For those who have contacted us with concerns that the City should take a more active role in providing for its feral cat community, we want to clarify the distinction between the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and New York City government. Despite our name, we are not part of the Mayor’s Office or administration, and we are not a city agency. The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, Inc., founded in 2002, is a coalition of more than 150 animal rescue groups and shelters that is working with Animal Care & Control of New York City (AC&C) to end the killing of healthy and treatable cats and dogs at AC&C shelters. Please visit our website (www.AnimalAllianceNYC.org) to learn more about who we are and what we are doing in NYC and how our programs have been instrumental in reducing the numbers of animals euthanized in New York City.

We invite you to keep informed about news and developments concerning community cats in New York City by visiting the NYC Feral Cat Initiative website at www.NYCFeralCat.org. And while you’re there, be sure to subscribe to our mailing list so you’ll receive our newsletters and important announcements by e-mail. We also invite you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.