Community Cat Initiative
Gainesville Pet Rescue continuously pushes forward to meet our counties goal of ending euthanasia of healthy and treatable animals. We are proud and honored to launch the GPR Community Cat Initiative. GPR in partnership with Alachua County Animal Services is following in the footsteps of First Coast No More Homeless Pets® and the City of Jacksonville to create a successful feral cat spay/neuter program.
Community Cat Initiative was implemented to help manage existing colonies in Alachua County. This is an alternative to the needless euthanasia of community cats. It is our goal to spay and neuter community cats in Alachua County Animal Services and re-release them with their caregivers. We hope to manage existing cat colonies in Alachua County in a humane way that benefits the community cats, as well as community members.
What are “community cats”?
“Community cat” is an umbrella definition that includes any un-owned cat. These cats may be “feral” (un-socialized) or friendly, may have been born into the wild or may be lost or abandoned pet cats. Some community cats are routinely fed by one or more community members, while others survive without human intervention. Whatever a cat’s individual circumstances, the term “community cat” reflects the reality that for these cats, “home” is within the community rather than in an individual household.
Simple Steps to Community Cat Initiatives:
- Residents trap community cats. Animal service officers or citizens transport these cats to Animal Services.
- Cats are processed and admitted regularly for the stray hold.
- Information about cats targeted for SNR is recorded. This information includes: health status & location of pick up.
- No More Homeless Pets Alachua County then vaccinates, alters, and ear tips community cats.
- Cats are released to their neighborhood at the end of their stray hold.
Cats are released back to their neighborhoods for a number of reasons. Just to name a few:
- Resume their position within the cat community—this ensures that another untreated cat doesn’t come into the community and takes the place of the treated cat was removed.
- Safety of the cat—the cat will not be placed in unfamiliar territory where it may get hurt or have altercations with already established cats in that community.
- Health of the cat—cats in unfamiliar territory will not know local threats, where to find food, water or shelter.
- Sterilization, vaccination, and medical treatment of outdoor cats keeps them healthier, reduces the number of unwanted litters which creates a healthier community.