People for Animals, Inc. (PFA) has secured funding to spay/neuter 100% of the estimated 1,150 free-roaming (unowned) cats in Hillside at no cost to residents through a generous grant from PetSmart Charities®.
In October of 2014, Hillside’s Township Council enacted an Ordinance to address the growing feral cat population in the Township. The TNVM (Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Monitor) Ordinance allows residents to care for homeless cats in their neighborhood, but requires the cats to be spayed or neutered and cared for according to certain guidelines. Over time, this humane approach has proven to reduce complaints related to free-roaming cats and ultimately reduces the number of homeless cats on the streets.
Under the TNVM Ordinance, Hillside Township contributes cat licensing fees to the program but the bulk of the cost of veterinary care falls on the Good Samaritans who feed and watch over the cats. Many of them are unable to afford the cost to get all of the cats sterilized – a critical component to the success of the program.
As the volunteer Sponsor of the program, PFA is responsible for overseeing cat caretakers and raising funds to support the program. At the end of June, PFA was awarded a two-year grant from PetSmart Charities® to provide no-cost spay/ neuter for all of the estimated 1,150 homeless cats that reside in Hillside.
“I am so excited because there are a lot of people who want to see the program succeed and this award allows us to overcome the biggest hurdle: funding.” said Devon Francis, PFA’s Outreach Coordinator. “We are so thankful that Hillside decided to enact humane laws to deal with the homeless cat population, and that PetSmart Charities is willing to provide financial assistance to make our goals possible.”
To lend further support to Hillside residents, PFA provides both caretaker training and volunteer trapping assistance to cat caretakers. In addition to trapping, PFA volunteers will provide transportation of cats to and from PFA’s clinic in Hillside where they will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and given post operative care.
Hillside residents who feed free-roaming cats are encouraged to call PFA directly at 973-282-0890 ext. 222 for more information about the program and grant eligibility.
About People for Animals
Founded in 1980, People for Animals, Inc. is an independent nonprofit animal welfare organization not affiliated with any other humane society or any national or local animal welfare groups. The primary mission of PFA is to eliminate animal suffering through affordable essential healthcare, public policy advocacy and community programs. Our experienced veterinarians perform over 22,000 spays and neuters annually at our two low-cost high-quality spay/neuter clinics located in Hillside and Robbinsville, NJ.
About Petsmart Charities
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is a nonprofit animal welfare organization that saves the lives of homeless pets. More than 400,000 dogs and cats find homes each year through our adoption program in all PetSmart® stores and our sponsored adoption events. PetSmart Charities grants more money to directly help pets in need than any other animal welfare group in North America, with a focus on funding spay/neuter services that help communities solve pet overpopulation. PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization, separate from PetSmart, Inc.