By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views
It’s a tall order, and the folks at Stray Cat Alliance are up for the challenge. Their goal is to spay/neuter every cat in the 90037 zip code.
Since its launch late last year, Stray Cat Alliance’s I Spayed L.A. program has spayed/neutered 300 feral, stray, and homeless cats. I Spayed L.A. provides L.A.’s poorest demographic areas with spay/neuter and other health services for cats and kittens, both owned and free-roaming in the neighborhood. The program is run on donations and grants.
“I Spayed L.A. is a partnership with community residents to give them the tools and resources they need to continue this work,” says, Christi Metropole, Stray Cat Alliance executive director. “Our goal is to spay/neuter every cat in that zip code. Once we feel we hit critical mass we will take our program to the next zip code.”
I Spayed L.A. helps 90037 residents pay for all or part of the spay/neuter costs. In addition, they assist with costs for immunizations, de-worming, and other health-related issues. Funding for these services comes from grants and private donations.
I Spayed L.A. chose the 90037 area because its residents have extremely low incomes, it’s densely urban, and it’s central to downtown LA. Volunteers are taught TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return).
Stray Cat Alliance estimates that by sterilizing 70 percent or more of all cats in this zip code over the next three years, it would eliminate, or nearly eliminate, intakes from that zip code at the South Los Angeles shelter, where the kill rate for cats exceed 80 percent.
“I can’t say enough about the work that Stray Cat Alliance is doing in South Los Angeles,” says Animal Planet’s Jackson Galaxy, animal behaviorist and star of “My Cat from Hell.” “From hands-on rescue to educating the community about responsible pet care, I Spayed L.A. is a model program for Trap/Neuter/Return that urban areas all over the country should be implementing.”
On January 28 members from I Spayed L.A. will be knocking on doors in the 90037 zip code. They host community events a number of times a year. Volunteers go door-to-door; block and neighborhood captains provide information and resources so local residents are empowered to help their own communities. Stray Cat Alliance has set up two trap depots in the area, and is teaching residents how to use them humanely. Spay/neuters are performed locally at Animal Rescue Center in South Los Angeles, and paid for by Stray Cat Alliance.
For more information about Stray Cat Alliance and I Spayed L.A., or to talk to someone about setting up your own grassroots program, click here.
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