Sunday, June 3, 2012

Invest co-op funding to assist community cats

In its May/June 2012 newsletter, the Ashland Food Co-op asks that members consider donating their patronage dividends to its Community Fund:
“Sponsored by the Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation, Coop Community Funds around the country serve as a way for co-op owners to make donations to an endowment that helps fund local non-profit organizations.”
As a member/owner of the Ashland Food Co-op, this is the use to which I want my investment put: to address cat welfare in Jackson County, Ore. According to the Animal Control Advisory Committee’s Cat Issue Task Force:

“Cat overpopulation and the lack of control of cats in Jackson County have resulted in a five-year average of 3,500 cats entering the Jackson County Shelter alone. Thousands of others were taken in by other local shelters, were casualties of the environment, or were left to roam free. The Shelter’s available resources to handle this number of cats, in addition to humane concerns for holding wild and unmanageable cats, required short holding periods. Recent public awareness of current practice has resulted in requests for changes.
“A Taskforce was formed by the Animal Control Advisory Committee in early January to develop recommendations for short-term and long-term solutions that address the problems of too many stray, feral, and abandoned cats in Jackson County, the inability of the existing animal shelters in Jackson County to handle all of those cats, and spay/neuter solutions.”

The task force includes representation by an agency that provides trap, neuter and return of feral cats: Spay Neuter Your Pet (SNYP), The task force also includes representation by animal adoption agencies.

Contributing toward the cost of spaying and neutering feral cats would, in my opinion, qualify under the categories of Environmental or Sustainability Education and Environmental Stewardship for the Ashland Food Co-Op Community Grants.

According to SNYP:

“A pair of breeding cats, which can have two or more litters per year, can exponentially produce 420,000 offspring over a seven-year period, and the overpopulation problem carries a hefty price tag. On average, it costs $100 for animal control to catch, house, feed and eventually euthanize one animal. With the large population of cats, this number quickly escalates.
“Trap-neuter-release programs are a promising alternative to solving the overpopulation problem.
“Studies have proven that trap-neuter-release is the single most successful method of stabilizing and maintaining healthy feral cat colonies with the least possible cost to local governments and residents, while providing the best life for the animals themselves.”

Read about cat overpopulation in Jackson County, Ore. at Task force recommendations dated May 14, 2012, can be read at

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