Oregon Humane Society receives first-of-its-kind grant from PetSmart Charities to help save at-risk cats and kittens.
Giving pets in need a second chance at a loving home is at the heart of transport programs. Shelters that struggle with too many pets and not enough adopters often partner with organizations like the Oregon Humane Society (OHS) to move animals to communities where there is an abundance of eager adopters. It’s an emerging best practice in animal welfare and something PetSmart Charities and the Oregon Humane Society believe helps even more pets in need.
With this goal in mind, OHS recently received a $107,500 grant from PetSmart Charities to support its Second Chance program.
In 2018, OHS’s Second Chance program transported more than 8,000 pets from 85 partner shelters and rescues. The program expanded in 2019 when OHS opened the new Cat and Kitten Intake Center to accommodate large transports of felines.
This new grant from PetSmart Charities will allow OHS to specifically transport cats and kittens from two underserved communities in Central California to Oregon for their second chance at a new life.
“We know that there are so many shelters in our region that need help with cats and kittens,” says Sharon Harmon, OHS President and CEO. “This grant from PetSmart Charities will make a big difference to the pets and people in Madera and Modesto, California.”
“Madera County has been struggling with cat overpopulation issues for many years,” says Kirsten Gross, Director, Madera County Animal Services. “The number of incoming cats in need outpaces our adoptions by at least 50 percent. Now, there is hope. This rescue transport grant is saving the lives of cats and kittens plus saving time/resources of the volunteers and shelter staff.”
To date, more than 200 cats and kittens have been transported to OHS as part of this grant. The first group arrived on Sept. 13. Read more about how OHS welcomes new arrivals at the Cat and Kitten Intake Center. Two transports from Madera and/or Modesto are planned each month through August 2020.
“We already have such a wonderful partnership with OHS because of our dog program, so I knew the cat program would be just as beneficial to our community,” says Brittany Robbins, Rescue Coordinator, Madera County Animal Services and Friends of Madera Animal Shelter. “We’re so excited to see the impact it’s already made in just the past few months.”
Deborah Turcott, acting president of PetSmart Charities, believes strong partnership is the key to success for this and other transport programs.
“Pet transport is one of the strongest examples of how animal welfare organizations come together to solve for pet homelessness,” she explained. “And our funding to Oregon Humane Society in this way brings our mission of finding loving homes for homeless pets come to life in communities across the country and in areas of great need.”
Since 1994, through its partnership with nearly 4,000 humane societies, SPCAs and pet rescues across North America, PetSmart Charities has helped more than 8.5 million pets to find loving homes via its in-store adoption program in over 1,600 PetSmart® stores. The leading funder of animal welfare has also donated nearly $400 million to improve access to veterinary care, to help preserve families, to positively impact communities, and to connect people and pets through initiatives like this pet transport program with the Oregon Humane Society.