ASPCA Awards $4,000 Grant to Kingdom Animal Shelter to Help Reduce Pet Overpopulation in Vermont

May 20, 2010

NEW YORK — The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced a grant of $4,000 to Kingdom Animal Shelter in St. Johnsbury, Vt. The funding will be used to provide support to local residents for a targeted low-cost spay/neuter program for cats.

"Kingdom Animal Shelter's initiative is creating a more humane society and serving as an inspiration to other shelters across the country," said Julie Morris, Senior Vice President of Community Outreach for the ASPCA. "The ASPCA believes spaying and neutering is the most humane and effective way of controlling feral cat colonies and has a direct correlation to reducing pet overpopulation and the numbers of animals entering local shelters."

The community of St. Johnsbury has seen an increase in abandoned cats in recent years. As a result, the community is determined to maintain the homeless cat population and reduce feral cats via trap-neuter-return (TNR) and provide essential services for pet owners.

"Kingdom Animal Shelter frequently receives calls about abandoned cats and many of our residents want to be responsible pet owners, but cannot afford the cost of surgery," said Joyce Littlefield, Board President of Kingdom Animal Shelter. "The grant, made possible by the ASPCA, will offer Kingdom Animal Shelter the opportunity to assist our neighbors directly in preventing unwanted litters of kittens and thus reduce the burden on local shelters." 

TNR is the method of humanely trapping feral cats, having them spayed or neutered, vaccinated for rabies and then returning them to their colony to live out their lives. TNR has been shown to be the most efficient and humane way of stabilizing feral cat populations. Furthermore, by maintaining the population, cats will naturally have more space, shelter and food, and fewer risk of disease. After being spayed or neutered, nuisance behaviors such as spraying, loud noise and fighting are largely eliminated and no additional kittens are born to increase the population.

The state of Vermont recently created VSNIP (Vermont Spay Neuter Incentive Program), which provides low-cost spay/neuter for residents on public assistance. The remaining funds from the ASPCA grant will allow Kingdom Animal Shelter to assist those involved in VSNIP and provide additional veterinary care when needed.