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April 9th, 2014

DSPCA Receives Grant for Feral Cat Problem

HYDE PARK - The Dutchess County SPCA received a grant from PetSmart Charities to aid in efforts to spay/neuter 175 feral cats in Wappingers Falls. The goal of the $11,000 grant is to reach as many colonies as possible to dramatically reduce the population of feral cats. To achieve this ambitious goal, the DCSPCA is partnering with Lost Paws, Inc., a non-profit working to trap, neuter, return and protect feral cats in Wappingers Falls

Over the last three years, Lost Paws and the DCSPCA have spayed or neutered 183 feral cats from Wappingers Falls. This is roughly half of the estimated population. PetSmart Charities grant funds cover most of the cost to the Dutchess County SPCA to provide the spay/neuter surgery, treatment for ear mites, and vaccinations. Lost Paws, Inc. will provide the traps, volunteers, food and transportation. Both organizations rely on donations to cover the remaining costs.

Wappingers Falls property owners who see evidence of a feral cat colony are encouraged to call Lost Paws, Inc. at (845) 863-3553 for assistance with spaying/neutering. The DCSPCA and most local veterinarians notch one ear of feral cats spayed or neutered in the clinic. This helps property owners determine if cats they see still need to be served.

Feral cats were born or raised in the wild or have adapted to feral living. They differ from pets or stray cats who could not survive long on their own in the wild. Pets and strays are less fearful of contact with humans than feral cats. Feral cats do not have an owner responsible for their medical care. Cats can produce multiple litters each year if they are not altered, leading to pet overpopulation.

"We are truly grateful to PetSmart Charities for this opportunity to work in collaboration with Lost Paws in Wappingers Falls. This is an opportunity for us to work in a small area and see if we can reach close to 100% of all the ferals in that area." stated Jackie Rose, DCSPCA Executive Director. She added, "We encourage all Wappingers Falls property owners with ferals to contact Lost Paws. This is your opportunity to get help to reduce the cat population."

The Dutchess County SPCA, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, is the lead agency for animal rescue and adoption in Dutchess County. The DCSPCA is a no-kill shelter with a 143-year history of concern, caring and providing shelter for unwanted, abused, abandoned and neglected animals. The Dutchess County SPCA rescues, shelters, and secures permanent homes for adoptable companion animals; advocates for the highest standards of animal care; and enforces animal cruelty laws throughout Dutchess County.

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