Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 in Review: Cat overpopulation in Lake County

Lake County Animal Care and Control, veterinarians and concerned residents worked in 2012 to reduce Lake County's overpopulation of cats.

At the beginning of the year, Lake County earned the distinction of having the highest cat euthanasia rate in California. According to department statistics, 2,600 cats were turned in to the Lake County Animal Care and Control facility in 2011. Only 18 percent, or 480, of those 2,600 cats were adopted or transferred to a rescue facility. The remaining 2,120 cats were destroyed.

Each full-time veterinary clinic in Lake County pledged to perform up to two free spay or neuter surgeries per week for 450 surgeries per year on unowned cats. Vicki Chamberlain in Lakeport, Kathy Langlais in Clearlake and Erica Bergstrom in Middletown volunteered to administer the CatSnip program.

Lake County Animal Care and Control opened a medical clinic in March, allowing veterinarians to perform spay and neuter surgeries in-house. Department director Bill Davidson said the goal was 25 to 27 surgeries weekly. Lake County rescue groups would receive vouchers for two surgeries per week.

PetSmart Charities awarded a two-year, $33,000 grant in October to target stray cats in the Kelseyville area. Officials hoped to reduce the reproductive capabilities of feral cats in the area by 75 to 80 percent.

Davidson said the funds will go toward 400 spay/neuter surgeries the first year and 250 surgeries the second year. The grant will also pay for a part-time department driver and traps for Kelseyville residents.

I compiled this information for the Lake County Record-Bee's Year in Review. The information comes from staff accounts and press releases published this past year.

More year-in-review updates on my professional page on Facebook:
Notable gains in higher education
K-12 education in Lake County, Calif.

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