RIVERSIDE (CNS) – A campaign focused on moving cats out of Riverside County animal shelters and into homes, sparing them from euthanasia due to space constraints and other limitations, is starting to take shape, officials said Tuesday.
The “5,000 Cats Challenge” is an effort to increase “live outcomes” for the hundreds of felines that end up in one of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services’ four shelters annually.
On Monday, the department hosted a panel discussion featuring multiple individuals who specialize in cat rescues and animal behavior. The chief topic was the county’s voluminous “intake” of cats and kittens last year and how to prevent large numbers of the domestic pets from becoming a strain on the shelters in the future.
“At this time, our staff is working closely with the visiting experts to outline plans to increase live outcomes for cats and kittens,” Department of Animal Services spokeswoman Kerri Mabee told City News Service. “The plan will … include removing barriers to adoption and increasing foster and spay/neuter opportunities.”
The 5,000 Cats Challenge will attempt to duplicate the nationwide “Million Cat Challenge” initiated in 2014 that resulted in over a million felines across the country being spared euthanasia over a five-year span.
Animal rescue organizations will be part of the countywide campaign. Mabee said mass adoption and fostering events are planned, likely beginning in April.
“This opportunity stands to make a significant difference in the lives of cats in the community and entering the shelter system,” Department of Animal Services Director Erin Gettis said.
According to Mabee, about 125 cats and kittens in the county’s four shelters are in need of adoption or foster placement currently. The Western Riverside County Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley has the highest number at 65, which Mabee noted fluctuates daily.
Information on adoption and fostering opportunities can be found at https://rcdas.org.
For More Animal News Visit www.zapinin.com/animals.