Kamloops SPCA sets sights on new programs to deal with cat overpopulation | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops SPCA sets sights on new programs to deal with cat overpopulation

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January 24, 2020 - 4:00 PM

Cat overpopulation is a major problem in some B.C. communities, but when it comes to the number of unwanted cats, Kamloops appears to be one of the worst. After stretching funding last year, the local SPCA branch has come up with a plan to tackle the issue.

Last summer, the B.C. SPCA received a grant from the PetSmart Charities of Canada to spay and neuter cats in certain communities.

Hayley Bennett Ortner, manager of community engagement at the Kamloops branch, says 440 cats were fixed, although the grant was only set to cover the surgery for 400.

“It was a big project. It was a lot of work but we really do think that a small bit of success was found in that. I only say small because Kamloops has such a big cat overpopulation problem. It’s going to take years of work, and it’s not just going to be work with spaying and neutering. It’s going to be work with education,” Bennett Ortner says. “There’s a little a bit of a shift in perspective thats needed.”

She says that the PetSmart funding will not be available this year, but the SPCA has its own plans for other sterilization and education projects.

“We do have a new program that we’re working on right now, we’re just getting it off the ground… so we will be doing another go at it to help control the cat overpopulation, but it won’t be from external sources,” she says. “We’re still sorting that out, especially as we connect with veterinary offices around town and partners that will be helping.”

She says a big part of controlling the overpopulation is education, and notes that the SPCA is just starting a project to teach the public about the severity of the issue.

"There will be advertisements going out around town, with education piece speaking on the cat overpopulation crisis, why it’s happening, what situations the cats ended up in, and what we can do to treat it.”

The education program is run by the Kamloops SPCA's Deirdre Campbell, who says further details will be released in March.

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