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Cat's Cradle of the Shenandoah Valley, Inc.

Harrisonburg, VA

www.catscradleva.org

Amount Requested: $7,000 for Spay/Neuter Financial Assistance for Low-Income and At Risk Families in Augusta County

Mission: Cat’s Cradle seeks to ensure a safe and compassionate community for cats by  decreasing the intake and euthanasia of healthy, adoptable pets at area shelters.  We have three primary programs:  spay/neuter financial assistance, including trapping and/or transport services; rescue/foster/adoption of cats and kittens from area shelters; and pet retention programs (veterinary assistance, pet food assistance, and short-term boarding assistance, in addition to behavioral counseling).

Constituents Served: Cat’s Cradle’s spay/neuter financial assistance programs and our pet retention programs (vet bill financial help, pet food, short-term boarding assistance) serve primarily low income and at risk families in our service area (Augusta County, Staunton, Waynesboro, Page County, Harrisonburg, and Rockingham County); however, our rescue/foster/adoption and humane/behavioral counseling and education programs are open to all. Cat’s Cradle fielded over 3,300 calls last year, primarily adults, seeking assistance with spay/neuter, behavioral questions, pet retention medical assistance, pet food donations, and other inquiries regarding rescue and adoption.

Our greatest accomplishments of 2015 were facilitating the spay/neuter of over 1,460 cats and kittens, hitting a new adoption mark of over 500 cats and kittens, as well as expanding our pet retention program by helping over 70 families keep their pets at home by helping with medical and boarding expenses during emergencies and difficult financial times.

Program Overview: Although our Spay/Neuter Financial Assistance Program is an ongoing program, this project will target rural Augusta County low-income and other at-risk pet owners (e.g., elderly individuals) who may need our assistance to have their animals neutered and vaccinated against rabies – -either because they don’t have the money for the surgery and vaccine (the cost of which has significantly increased in the last two years from an average of $57 for each animal to the current average of $80 per animal) or because they need help in getting their animals to the clinic and back.   All grant funds would be used to pay veterinary fees, no administrative expenses.

Our three primary programs all incur significant veterinary and medical supplies costs each year.  Veterinary fees and medical supplies are our largest expenditures each year, totaling over $164,000 in 2015 and budgeted at a combined $175,000 for 2016.  Thus, we continually seek new sources of funding to defray these expenses so that we can expand our lifesaving programs to reach more cats and kittens, and to assist more pet owners.  We know that our efforts are making a difference, but we also know that consistent reduction of shelter intake and euthanasia will require ongoing aggressive spay/neuter, a commitment by Cat’s Cradle to continue to rescue adoptable animals from our shelters and find them forever homes, and increased pet retention programs to keep pets and their families together and avoid owner surrender to shelters.   Cat’s Cradle has an established reputation and network of partners in animal welfare to carry out our operations – – continued financial support will allow us to grow our programs and accomplish even more this year than the last.

Current Operating Budget: $403,000