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Grant helps Turlock Animal Service wrangle cat population
cat grant
Last year, Turlock Animal Services took in an estimated 1,500 cats and of those, around 1,200 had to be euthanized (Photo contributed).

Turlock Animal Services is using a newly acquired grant to help improve the quality of life for cats in the city and move forward to the goal of becoming a no kill shelter.

Turlock Animal Services recently received a $20,000 grant to reduce the number of cat and kitten deaths by at least 250 in one year via a spay/neuter/release program. The grant is from the California Animal Welfare Funders Collaborative, which has doled out $200,000 to animal shelters across the state.

CAWFC is a unique model of funders pulling their dollars together and includes the Annenberg Foundation with support from Wallis Annenberg PetSpace, Best Friends Animal Society, Maddie’s Fund and Michelson Found Animals Foundation.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this incredible initiative,” said Dr. J.J. Rawlinson, Senior Manager, Community Partnerships & Welfare Initiatives for Annenberg PetSpace. “By collaborating together, the CAWFC is able to make our funding dollars have an even stronger impact in the California animal welfare community.”

According to the CAWFC data, cats make up 78 percent of the animals euthanized at shelters in the state.

Turlock’s program is open to cats and kittens trapped within the city limits. The cats are accessed for health and to verify if they are feral. The cats are spayed or neutered and then after a day of recovery they are released back to the area where they were trapped. Kittens need to be eight weeks and two pounds to qualify.

Those cats and kittens with friendly personalities can be placed into rescue and adopted.

The hope is that the grant will help reduce the number of cats that have to be euthanized each year in Turlock and eventually get the shelter to a no kill designation.

Last year, Turlock Animal Services took in an estimated 1,500 cats and of those, around 1,200 had to be euthanized, said Animal Services supervisor Officer Glena Jackson.

So far this year, 162 cats have come to the shelter and 66 have been euthanized, Jackson said. The shelter started implementing the program on a small basis in March and since then the staff has seen a significant decrease in euthanizing.

“We’re really happy as a shelter to have this program and we’re already seeing the benefits,” Jackson said.

The program is run on appointment only on Mondays and Wednesdays.

For information about appointments call 656-3140.