PHOENIX, AZ -- (Marketwire) -- 10/16/12 -- In recognition of National Feral Cat Day, PetSmart Charities®, the largest funder of companion animal-welfare efforts in North America, and Best Friends Animal Society®, the flagship organization for the no-kill movement in the United States, announce the results of Albuquerque's Community Cats Project to date, a project made possible by a $700,000 grant from PetSmart Charities. The project aims to help lessen the burden on animal shelters by enhancing the humane population control of free-roaming cats in Albuquerque through the sterilization of 3,500 cats each year.
PetSmart Charities and Best Friends Animal Society will hold a news conference for a look at the collaborative efforts to save the lives of the community cat population through the Community Cats Project today at 2:00 p.m. at the Mayor's conference room (11th floor of City Hall), which will be attended by Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry and leaders of each partner organization involved.
Free roaming cats, commonly referred to as community cats, are responsible for the majority of kittens born in the U.S. Unfortunately, many of the kittens from these litters eventually end up in shelters, where they are at high risk for euthanasia. However, as a result of the project's launch in April, euthanasia of cats has decreased by 67 percent in City of Albuquerque animal shelters.
Additionally, through the first nine months of 2012, the number of kittens eight weeks and younger taken in by the Albuquerque shelters has decreased by 18 percent compared with the same period a year ago. This points to the success of the city's trap-neuter-return efforts, which have been enhanced by the PetSmart Charities grant.
"As we've witnessed with the Community Cats Project in Albuquerque, trap-neuter-return programs truly do make a difference," said Susana Della Maddalena, executive director of PetSmart Charities, Inc. "PetSmart Charities is proud to provide funding to organizations that are dedicated to saving the lives of community cats and decreasing the number of cats entering local shelters."
Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry praised the progressive work of the city with regard to community cats, which drew the attention of both Best Friends Animal Society and PetSmart Charities, ultimately enabling the city to take advantage of services provided by the grant.
"We are pleased that our city was recognized for its forward-thinking work on the management of community cats," said Mayor Berry. "Through this partnership, we're looking forward to even more progress."
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