Hazel Park Shelter Gets TNR Grant

Hazel Park Shelter Gets TNR Grant

(Michigan Pet Fund Alliance, April 29, 2020)

Hazel Park, MI and Bay County, MI – The Michigan Pet Fund Alliance is pleased to recognize the Hazel Park Animal Control Shelter and Humane Society of Bay County for their innovative and collaborative Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs to help outdoor and feral cats. Each organization will receive $1,500 thanks to a generous donation from the Humane Society of Macomb Foundation.

“Both applicants demonstrated extraordinary efforts to collaborate with other governments and organizations,” said Deborah Schutt, MPFA founder and chairperson. “Hazel Park also went above and beyond with their educational efforts, while Humane Society of Bay County through perseverance launched a program at a time local area veterinarians and animal control were adverse to this new and only proven method to control the outdoor cat population.”

The Humane Society of Bay County (HSBC) TNR program has benefitted 1,911 cats since launching in 2014. When County Executive Jim Barcia was elected in 2016, he committed to making Bay County no kill, where no healthy or treatable animal would be killed in their shelters. In support of this commitment and due to the success of the HSBC TNR transport program with All About Animals Rescue, the county’s animal shelter now actively supports the Humane Society’s efforts by referring Bay County residents in need of managing community cats in their neighborhoods, leading to increased education and tolerance for ferals, as well as a higher save rate in the Bay County Animal Shelter.

Hazel Park began their TNR program in 2018 and has helped 200 cats so far. Animal Control Officer Jennifer Thomas stated in their submission, “Even though our community cats program is a Hazel Park program, we are innovative in working with several of our surrounding communities. Many of the communities we help do not have community cat programs, animal control, or any other support for this type of work. This makes our efforts in areas like Detroit, Ferndale, and Royal Oak that much more essential.”

According to Alley Cat Allies, the leading advocate for cats in the U.S. and around the world, cats lived outside for thousands of years before keeping cats indoors became mainstream in the 1950s when cat litter was invented. Community cats are not adoptable and do not pose a health threat to humans because they are not socialized to people.

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is a humane approach to end the breeding cycle, stabilize the population, and improve the lives of outdoor and feral cats. In a TNR program, cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated and eartipped, then returned to their outdoor home where a colony caregiver provides food, water, shelter and ongoing monitoring. Scientific studies show that community cats can help fight rodent infestations and can have the same healthy life span as indoor cats.

MPFA encourages all animal control and animal protection agencies in Michigan to include community cat programs in their operations. Last month, MPFA donated trapping equipment worth more than $5,000 to 17 animal control shelters, non-profit rescue organizations and outreach groups located throughout the state to help them launch TNR programs in their communities.

MPFA is committed to ending the inhumane and outdated “catch-and-kill” system still practiced in some Michigan shelters. According to the 2018 state-mandated shelter reports submitted to Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, 7,092 cats were killed in Michigan shelters.

ABOUT MICHIGAN PET FUND ALLIANCE

Michigan Pet Fund Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization advocating nationally recognized best practices that save lives and stop the killing of healthy and treatable homeless cats and dogs in Michigan shelters. MPFA provides lifesaving grants, mentoring, educational opportunities, networking, and other support to animal shelters and rescues. For more information, please visit MichiganPetFund.org.

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