Humane society receives grant to manage free-roaming felines

The Wood County Humane Society (WCHS) recently received a grant from the Merrimack River Feline Rescue
Society (MRFRS) and PetSmart Charities to assist in managing the free-roaming feline population in Wood
County.
The grant period runs through February 2015 and the grant monies specifically are earmarked for providing
free spay/neuter services and rabies vaccines of free-roaming, outdoor cats in the 43402 zip code. The
organization’s goal for this pilot program is to spay/neuter 250 free-roaming felines while partnering
with Humane Ohio, which is a low-cost, high-quality, accessible spay/neuter clinic in the Greater Toledo
Area.
The WCHS also hopes that its efforts will provide resources for and promote responsible pet care.
After the pilot program is completed in February of next year, the WCHS plans to expand the program to
include all of Wood County. Expanding the program will depend largely on the organization’s successful
fulfillment of the grant conditions for its pilot program, as well as additional fundraising efforts for
the cause. The WCHS is accepting donations for their "Spay it Forward" campaign to be able to
help assist with future spay/neuter surgeries for free-roaming cats.
According to Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and
humane treatment of cats, felines can start reproducing at four months of age, and have up to three
litters a year. By spaying and neutering just one female and one male cat, area residents will be
preventing more than 2,000 unwanted births in just four years. Cats’ physical health improves, and the
cats are vaccinated against rabies. Attempts to permanently remove cats from an area (their home) always
fail because of a natural and scientifically-documented phenomenon known as the vacuum effect. In basic
terms, whenever cats are removed, new cats move in, or the surviving cats left behind, breed to
capacity.
This grant will assist the WCHS in its mission to alleviate some of these problems in the 43402 zip code,
but only with the support of local residents, as Shelter Manager Erin McKibben reminds.
Citizens of Wood County, who reside in the 43402 zip code, should contact the shelter at 419-352-7339 or
[email protected] to inquire about the full grant details and to set up an appointment for having
free-roaming cat(s) spayed/neutered.
The WCHS recommends that individuals schedule appointments as soon as possible, as space and funding are
limited for this pilot program.