Mars Petcare surprised six organizations across the U.S. with grants to support their community cat programs, further demonstrating its commitment to its purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS. The funds will help support a variety of innovative programs that cater to the unique needs of the estimated 41 million street and stray cats1. To further assist development of community cat programs across the country, the company also recently launched its first Community Cat Toolkit through its BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program to serve as a resource for cities on how to care for cats and become more pet-friendly.
"Providing care for cats that don't have homes is an important part of being a pet-friendly community–both through increasing adoption and caring for cats whose best lives are lived in outdoor colonies," said Jam Stewart, vice president of Corporate Affairs at Mars Petcare. "From volunteering to educating the broader community, we can all play a critical role in making our cities more welcoming to cats. We're glad to help shine a spotlight on how strategic community cat programs can reduce overpopulation and improve community cats' overall quality of life."
The list of grant recipients include:
- Community Cat Coalition (Mukilteo, WA) for its feeding program
- Indy Neighborhood Cats (Indianapolis, IN) for its winter shelters program
- New Leash on Life (Lebanon, TN) for its rural community cat outreach program
- SoBe Cats Spay & Neuter (Miami Beach, FL) for its community cat adoption program
- TrapKing Humane (Atlanta, GA) for its trap-neuter-return education program
- Williamson County Animal Center (Franklin, TN) for its working cat program
To showcase the best practices from these organizations, Mars Petcare worked with several grant recipients–Sterling "TrapKing" Davis, founder of TrapKing Humane, Williamson County Animal Center and New Leash on Life–this week in Franklin, Tenn., to promote community cat programs. The event included informational sessions for the public about caring for and improving the lives of community cats and the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives across Middle Tennessee's animal welfare community.
"I am passionate about serving communities and will continue to advocate for cats everywhere," said Davis. "Through ongoing collaboration across shelters and organizations, we can implement programming in cities to support community cats and prevent overpopulation. Having the backing and support of a company like Mars Petcare will help me and many others who are focused on this issue expand our critical work even further."
The new Community Cat Toolkit from Mars Petcare's BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program was created to educate communities on how to provide care for community cats. Although cats can be found in 45 million American homes, according to the American Pet Products Association,2 there are still millions of free-roaming and homeless cats across the country. Many free-roaming cats are likely being cared for on a regular basis through a community cat program aimed at helping humanely reduce overpopulation and nuisance behaviors. In these programs, shelters, volunteers and cities work together to feed, spay or neuter, vaccinate and care for outdoor cats. The toolkit offers an overview of community cat care, as well as model legislation supporting trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs.
To learn more about community cats, please visit the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program website to see how you can help.