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PetSmart Charities® , Best Friends Animal Society® announce project, funding to save lives of San Antonio's ‘community cats'

PetSmart Charities logoSAN ANTONIO, Texas (May 7, 2012) - Best Friends Animal Society® and PetSmart Charities®, the largest funder of companion animal-welfare efforts in North America, announce the launch of a new project to help lessen the burden on animal shelters by enhancing the humane population control of free-roaming cats in San Antonio.

Through funding provided by PetSmart Charities, Best Friends Animal Society has received a $700,000 three-year grant to fund the "Community Cats Project," a public-private partnership that will focus on reducing by 25 percent the euthanasia of free-roaming cats, commonly referred to as "community cats," in San Antonio.

Best Friends Animal Society logo"Through the generosity of PetSmart Charities, we at Best Friends are very excited to launch this important project to help San Antonio," said Gregory Castle, chief executive officer of Best Friends Animal Society.

"The City of San Antonio is committed to working toward making the municipal shelter no-kill, and the Community Cats Project is an important step towards reaching that goal. This generous grant provides us with the opportunity use the nationally proven method of trap/neuter/return (TNR) to reduce the breeding of free-roaming/homeless cats, and to decrease the number of cats entering the shelters."

Best Friends Animal Society has hired staff to work on the project with the staff at City of San Antonio Animal Care Services, with cost of the project to be paid from the PetSmart grant.

"We are very excited to partner with Best Friends on this life-saving initiative," said Susana Della Maddalena, executive director of PetSmart Charities. PetSmart Charities is the largest funder of TNR programs in the country and we believe this method to be the most humane approach in reducing the number of free-roaming cats being euthanized in shelters."

Holly Sizemore, director of Best Friends Animal Society national programs, said TNR is a comprehensive management plan in which homeless, free-roaming cats are humanely trapped, evaluated and sterilized by a licensed veterinarian, vaccinated against rabies, and ear-tipped for identification purposes.

"TNR is an alternative to the ‘trap and kill' policies that have traditionally been employed by animal control agencies to address cat over-population and nuisance complaint situations," she said. "Trap and kill repeatedly has been proven to be ineffective, cost-prohibitive and publicly unpalatable."

Joe Angelo, interim director of San Antonio Animal Care Services, said the grant would go a long way toward helping deal with homeless cats in the city.

"This grant will not only increase awareness of the benefits of TNR, it will also provide a live release option for thousands of our community cats," said Angelo. "We've learned TNR is intrinsic to "no-kill" and this comprehensive project will surely help San Antonio move towards our goal."

Best Friends Animal Society, along with other national animal-welfare organizations and thousands of people at the grassroots level, utilize TNR because in addition to being the best and most humane way to control feral cat populations, it also accomplishes the following:

  • TNR promotes public health by reducing the number of unvaccinated cats.
  • Sterilizing community cats through a TNR program alleviates nuisance incidences, thus reducing complaints from community members.
  • Since TNR programs often are supported financially by nonprofit organizations, foundations and charitable individuals, they do not rely solely on taxpayers for funding. 

For an interview or more information on the Community Cats Project see the media contact above.

About Best Friends Animal Society®

Best Friends Animal Society is a nonprofit organization building no-kill programs and partnerships that will bring about a day when there are No More Homeless Pets®. The society's leading initiatives in animal care and community programs are coordinated from its Kanab, Utah, headquarters, the country's largest no-kill sanctuary. This work is made possible by the personal and financial support of a grassroots network of supporters and community partners across the nation.

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About PetSmart Charities®

Established in 1994, PetSmart Charities, Inc. is an independent, nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization that creates and supports programs that save the lives of homeless pets, raise awareness of companion animal welfare issues, and promote healthy relationships between people and pets. The largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North America, PetSmart Charities® has provided more than $165 million in grants and programs benefiting animal welfare organizations and has helped save the lives of nearly 5 million pets through its in-store adoption program. To learn more about how PetSmart Charities is working toward its vision of a lifelong, loving home for every pet, visit or call 1-800-423-PETS (7387).