CHICO – They’re furry, they have four legs and they need your help.
Advocates from five different Chico-area animal organizations gathered for a sidewalk press conference near the iconic Our Hands sculpture on Tuesday to announce a newly launched new website called www.chicoresourcesforcats.org. The website, produced by animal organizations, is a one-stop resource for all cat-related information and gives people the opportunity to learn and get the answers they need without having to make multiple calls.
“Thanks to the national shortage of veterinary resources, the increase in the number of animals abandoned by owners to shelters, as well as the ever-tightening economy, resources for cats and kittens are overstretched,” says Tracy Mohr, city animal services manager. from the Chico animal shelter. “Most animal shelters in Butte County are at capacity, foster families are full, and spaying and neutering appointments are booked for months. It’s been a tough time, to say the least. »
Shelly Rogers, spokesperson for Neighborhood Cat Advocates, said people are unaware of the situation with the cats and kittens.
“Cats are in dire straits,” Rogers said. “The public is not aware of the cats’ situation. Shelters are filled to the brim and there is a nationwide shortage of vets. It is difficult to get veterinary care.
Every spring in Chico, kitten season brings a glut of kittens. Rogers said female cats come into heat around February or March and can produce up to three litters per cat.
Representatives from every organization are pleading with people to have their cats spayed or neutered.
“The summer of 2022 has been the toughest,” Rogers said. “The shortage of vets is a huge problem.”
Rogers said finding pet food was also a problem.
Each organization has different functions, such as trapping, neutering, and neutering, which Neighborhood Cat Advocates does. Each individual organization has volunteers. The number one problem is the lack of spaying and sterilization appointments, according to spokespersons. Veterinarians are overworked and there are not enough resources.
Roger said cats don’t get as much attention as dogs.
“Cats don’t have the same place in people’s hearts as dogs do,” Rogers said. “We want to rally the community around cats. That is why we are here today.
In an attempt to provide a central location for community members to get information and support, chicoresourcesforcats.org includes a list of local animal welfare agencies involved, the role each plays in the community, and services and programs they provide. The group believes that while understanding the problem is half the battle, it will take the community working together to help fix the problem, according to a press release.
“Our local agencies are packed, overwhelmed, and we are all doing our best to meet the needs of the community,” says Katrina Woodcox, executive director of the Butte Humane Society. “This website is a fantastic ‘one-stop-shop’ resource for all things cats and kittens.”
Rogers said there are several ways people can help solve the cat crisis.
“Kitten foster homes, spaying and neutering donations, and food and supplies are always needed,” Rogers said. “But what our group really needs is for the community to know that the agencies are working as hard as they can, but this issue is one that will require involvement, understanding and an awareness of the community that will take more than animal welfare organizations to help tame kitten season. It will take all of us.
For more information, visit www.chicoresourcesforcats.org. Volunteers are needed to clean shelters and help with adoptions, for example.