Animal Protective Foundation of Scotia has been named the recipient of a $100,000 grant given by the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation. The money is earmarked for APF’s Community Spay/Neuter Program.
The program provides low-cost services for cats and dogs in the Capital Region, including over 3,000 spay/neuter cat surgeries per year.
A 1500 square foot clinic is planned specifically designed for these surgeries. The building cost is estimated to be between $500,000 to $6,000,000. So far APF has received about half that amount through contributions and fund raising efforts.
“Our present surgical suite was never intended to accommodate the volume of surgery we are now doing. We plan to build a facility that will provide the space needed to perform more low-cost surgeries on both cats and dogs,” said Executive Director Rosalie Ault. “Like all of the services we provide, this program would not be a burden to taxpayers, but would continue to be a program that is financially self-sustaining. But we have a long way to go to raise the rest of the money before breaking ground.”
This year marks the APF’s 80th anniversary. The shelter was founded in 1931 in the midst of the Great Depression, a response by volunteers to a desperate need to help abandoned pets for whom their owners could no longer afford to care.
While the level of care and breadth of services that the APF offers has changed dramatically since those early days, the need for a safe haven for homeless animals continues. Today a poor economy and unemployment continue to bring animals – owned, stray, and otherwise unwanted – to APF’s doors on a daily basis.
While sheltering and rehoming animals still comprise the majority of the APF’s work, the past 80 years have clearly demonstrated that continuing to allocate the bulk of resources to animal care and adoption will never eliminate the steady flow of homeless animals into the shelter, now roughly 3,000 per year.
“In order to have a real impact on the numbers we must prevent more companion animals from becoming homeless in the first place. The solution requires a proactive approach and that is high-volume, high-quality, low-cost spay/neuter,” said Ault. “We are on the right track and this new surgical center will be integral to realizing our goal.”
The John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation, was created to protect and improve the welfare of all animals, one branch specifically targeting cats and dogs. It is a non-profit philanthropic grant making foundation based in Hartford, CT.