LAKELAND, Fla., Feb. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- SPCA Florida announced today a formal collaboration with Florida Southern College (FSC) to create the first Community Cat Cafe project, an effort that addresses the issue of un-owned cats living on the college campus. Approximately 100 community cats live across the FSC campus, which is also home to the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright designed building structures in the world. Left un-checked, un-owned community cats will continue to breed and create more homeless cats.
"Science tells us that managing community cats through humane trap-neuter-return programs is solution-oriented to limiting cat populations and we know that trapping cats and euthanizing them at shelters only creates a vacuum in the local ecosystem to attract more cats," SPCA Florida CEO Sean Hawkins said.
FSC volunteers have taken on the responsibility of feeding the cats consistently at designated locations on campus so the cats become accustomed to a feeding schedule.
"Once the cats are acclimated to being fed at regular locations, our teams will humanely trap the cats who will then be examined, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and permanently identified by SPCA Florida veterinarians. The cats will be returned back into their environment where they will continue to be cared for at specially designed feeding stations," according to Hawkins.
"Jeff Baker of Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects of Albany, N.Y., has designed the feeding stations in Frank Lloyd Wright-style architecture to blend aesthetically with the historic buildings on campus," said Terry Dennis, FSC's vice president of operations, who is working with Rodda Construction Inc. to build the Cat Cafes at six locations at FSC. "FSC is excited to collaborate with SPCA Florida to humanely control and manage cat populations on campus. We are always concerned for safety of people at FSC but this joint effort demonstrates our commitment to compassion toward animals as well," according to Dennis. "We hope the Cat Cafe project is successful so that other communities can replicate the program."
Private donations are supporting SPCA Florida's trap-neuter-return program at FSC and the design and building materials for the Cat Cafe feeding stations are being provided by FSC. FSC staff and faculty will provide the ongoing care and feeding of the cats.
"The first-of-its-kind Cat Cafe joint project will keep community cats healthy, fed, housed and safe. SPCA Florida's vision for healthy animals and humane communities involves everyone in the welfare and well-being of animals," said Hawkins.
The pilot Cat Cafe program will be replicated across the state of Florida at mobile home parks, apartment complexes, and shopping center developments where people feeding cats and cats breeding create uncontrolled populations. SPCA Florida currently provides spaying, neutering, and vaccinating of un-owned community cats for the general public with a $15 co-pay at the McClurg Animal Medical Center. For more information about SPCA Florida's community cat program, including the free use of humane traps with a deposit, call (863) 646-7722 or visit www.spcaflorida.org.
About SPCA Florida
Founded in 1979, SPCA Florida exists to eliminate animal suffering and to enhance the human-animal bond by engaging the entire community in the welfare and well-being of animals. We accomplish this through model programs that promote the adoption of healthy animals, prevent dog and cat overpopulation, and provide veterinary medical services for animals in the community. SPCA Florida's relinquishment intervention programs create a safety net to keep animals who have homes in those homes. The McClurg Animal Medical Center heals and helps 50,000 patients annually and the Animal Adoption Center provides caring, compassion and hope to more than 6,000 homeless animals entering our doors each year. Find out more about SPCA Florida or support us by visiting www.spcaflorida.org.
Jessica Lawson, Manager of Media Relations
O: (863) 646-7722 ext. 4607
C: (386) 986-8093
SOURCE SPCA Florida