Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control is joining animal shelters across North America to save the lives of shelter cats and ensure every single cat in a North American shelter gets exactly the help they need. It’s all part the Million Cat Challenge – a joint campaign of the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida and the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program.
The Million Cat Challenge is based on five key initiatives that offer every shelter, in every community, practical choices to reduce euthanasia and increase live outcomes for shelter cats.
Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control, along with its coalition partners, has made great strides in saving the lives of cats in our community. In 2010, four years before the Community Cat program was implemented, the live release rate of cats was just 13 percent. Now that’s no longer the case thanks to implementing Community Cats, our growing adoption program and innovative programming. In 2018, 70 percent of all the cats that came through the shelter’s doors were returned to their owners, adopted, transferred to rescue partners or were returned to their neighborhood as a Community Cat.
“Of the over 5,000 cats we see, 25 percent of them are surrendered to us by their owners,” Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control director Amy-Jo Sites said. “We have been working on creating a program to assist pet owners keep them in their homes. Our focus is to make sure cats in our care are not euthanized because we don’t have enough space. We have been creating new relationships with businesses and other shelters in an effort to ensure we route cats to the program that would best suit their needs. Being part of the Million Cat Challenge is more than a slogan; it really is a pledge to save lives. “
"The shelters who have taken the Challenge are leading the way in finding and implementing new approaches to saving cats’ lives," said Dr. Kate Hurley, director of the UC Davis program.
About the Million Cat Challenge
The Million Cat Challenge was founded as a shelter-based campaign to save the lives of one million cats in North America over five years. The core strategy of the campaign focuses on five key initiatives that offer every shelter, in every community, practical choices to reduce euthanasia and increase live outcomes for shelter cats. The Challenge launched in 2014 with funding from Maddie’s Fund, a national foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals. Challenge co-founders Drs. Julie Levy and Kate Hurley are available for interviews. For more information, visit www.millioncatchallenge.org.