Our Focus on Felines
The most popular furry companion animal in America is now the cat. There are 86.4 million pet felines in our country. However, sometimes people’s love of the feline does not translate when cats end up homeless.
Roughly 70 percent of the cats who end up at shelters are killed. Of those, most are stray and free-roaming, or as we like to call them, community cats. The goal of Best Friends’ cat initiatives is to bring about a time of No More Homeless Pets by keeping cats safe and out of shelters.
Trap/neuter/return (TNR) has proven to be the only long-term solution to humanely control cat populations. Implementing TNR programs and relocating at-risk community cats help keep cats out of the shelter system.
First Coast No More Homeless Pets in Jacksonville, Florida, instituted one of the first shelter-centric TNR programs, which was sponsored by Best Friends. Resulting partnerships with government agencies, local rescue groups, animal control, and caring citizens have decreased the number of shelter cats killed in Duval County by nearly 60 percent in the program’s first few years.
Best Friends is helping other communities, urban, suburban and rural, create Community Cats programs that focus on public/private partnerships.
Other communities can duplicate these models. By implementing compassionate solutions to manage feline populations, communities can have a direct impact on feline lives saved by reducing the number of cats killed in our shelters.