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The Animal Foundation Teams Up with Best Friends Animal Society To Save 15,000 Cats in Las Vegas

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The Animal Foundation (TAF) and Best Friends Animal Society announced the Community Cats Project, a $1.7 million partnership that aims to spay/neuter 15,000 community cats in Clark County over the next three years. This project brings the organizations one step closer to Mission: Possible 2020, saving all healthy and treatable animals that enter TAF’s care by the end of the year 2020.

This feral cat has the tell-tale "tipped" ear from TNR - she won't be adding to the population. Image source: @Jeffreyw via Flickr
This feral cat has the tell-tale “tipped” ear from TNR – she won’t be adding to the population. Image source: @Jeffreyw via Flickr

It is estimated that there are over 250,000 free-roaming cats in the Las Vegas community. The plan is to spay/neuter and vaccinate 5,000 cats per year between April 1, 2016 and June 30, 2019. To accomplish this, TAF will dedicate one employee while Best Friends will hire two locally based full-time and one locally based part-time employee for oversight and assistance with implementation. Best Friends will also provide two vehicles for trap/neuter/return projects.

Image source: @dee_dee_creamer via Flickr
Image source: @dee_dee_creamer via Flickr

“Best Friends is proud to partner with The Animal Foundation. They have a strong commitment to saving the lives of dogs and cats and I believe it will make their goal of saving all the healthy and treatable animals that enter their care by 2020 possible,” said Holly Sizemore, director of national programs for Best Friends Animal Society. “Across the country cats make up the majority of animals dying in shelters, up to 70 percent in some places, many of them are free roaming or un-owned, known as community cats, and efforts to solve the issue by rounding up and euthanizing them have failed.”

As part of this partnership, we will have specifically trained CCP volunteers that will assist with both return to field and some of the trapping efforts.  Spay/neuter will be performed by our staff vets.

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“Best Friends Animal Society has a demonstrated track record with these types of projects at shelters in other areas. Their partnerships with shelters to spay/neuter community cats have dramatically improved live release rates and decreased euthanasia at those shelters,” said Christine Robinson, executive director of The Animal Foundation. “By spaying/neutering and vaccinating these cats, not only will we prevent the birth of thousands of unwanted litters but by the end of the three-year project, we’ll also achieve an overall cat live release rate of 85 percent in Las Vegas and Clark County. This will bring us closer to Mission: Possible 2020, which is our goal to save all healthy and treatable animals that enter our care by the end of the year 2020.”

A local journalist did a ride-along with team, you can watch her experience below:

The Mission: Possible 2020 includes a couple other programs including their Community Cats Project and a shelter intervention program we call KEPPT – Keeping Every Person and Pet Together.

“KEPPT launched as a pilot in fall of 2015 and its goal is to provide pet owners with resources to keep pets (of all kinds) with their families and out of the shelter,” Nina Radetich, a representative for TAF, told iHeartCats. “The Animal Foundation takes in more than 30,000 animals every year. KEPPT addresses Southern Nevada’s pet overpopulation problem on the front end through managed intake, community resources, and a focus on reunification – educating community pet owners about what to do when their pet gets lost.”

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Image source: TAF

Within the next five years, she went on to explain, they will be introducing more new programs as well as growing their existing ones in order to reach their goal by 2020:

  • Companion Animal Rehabilitation & Enhancement (CARE) Fund: we’re working to expand our medical care ability for our animals
  • Foster Program Growth:  placing more animals in foster homes
  • Adoption Promotions: continuing to offer discounted adoption fees for all pets
  • Spay/Neuter, Vaccine and Microchip Promotions:  We recently used some grant money to provide 500 free spay/neuter surgeries to owned pets and held a phone bank to make appointments (all part of World Spay Day). We received 28,000 phone calls in 1 hour!  We are continuing to get the word out about our low cost spay/neuter services – the details are on our website: www.animalfoundation.com   This month we are offering discounted microchips.
  • Paw Partner Program Growth: This is our animal transfer program.

To learn more about TAF and the amazing work they do, including how you can help, visit their website.

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