Squeaks “Squeaky” McGee here, but this week I’m not sharing observations. I had the chance this weekend to sit in the lap of local animal enthusiast Connie Kelly to learn about local efforts to help cats in Boone County. Because who doesn’t love cats?
Kelly is a member of BCAC, Boone County Animal Care, a non-profit animal welfare organization located in Columbia and founded in 2012. This organization is a foster-based group that focuses on improving the lives of animals in our community. Last year alone they were able to help 488 cats! That’s a lot of cats! They are able to do this by using a trap-neuter-release, TNR, method to help stabilize colonies of cats. This prevents future litters of kittens, stops fighting due to territory and prevents the spread of diseases.
BCAC works in conjunction with many local groups such as the Spay-Neuter Project (Columbia), MU Shelter Medicine (Columbia), and Dr. Albin’s Spay-Neuter Clinic (Sedalia), to help provide the needed surgeries and age appropriate vaccinations. Along with 15 foster families, and Papa’s Cat Cafe (Columbia), BCAC is able to provide shelter to about 100 cats while searching for their fur-ever homes. All cats that one can adopt through BCAC come with their spaying/neutering, age appropriate shots, a microchip, and have been tested for FIV and FELV. The adoption fee is $80. But when considering how much it cost to adopt through a shelter or to shop for a cat the price is fairly cheap. All money raised through adoptions are used to help provided the health services to these cats.
If one were wanting to help BCAC there are many way to do so. One can become a foster family, donate funds through the BCAC website, provided needed items such as blankets and food, or volunteer for opportunities to help clean the cat condos at Pet Smart when BCAC cats are on display. BCAC hosts fundraisers such as dances to help with cost. They are also able to apply for grants, to receive the funds necessary for the their efforts. Last December BCAC was able to raise over $9000 through CoMo Gives.
Another way one can help on their own is to practice TNR methods on their own. If one was able to trap an outside cat, they are able to take them to the Spay-Neuter Project and at a low fee of $25 the cat can receive a rabies vaccination, spaying/neutering, and a left ear tip, which will help distinguish them as an animal that has undergone TNR. This is recommended to do when there is nicer weather though because it does take a couple days for the cat to recover from their operation and the anesthesia used prevents the cat from being able to regulate their own body temperature.
On Thursday, February 27th, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., the Spay-Neuter Project in Columbia will be hosting their 8th annual Spay-Ghetti Dinner. This is their largest fundraiser of the year. It will be held at 16 Hitt St., in downtown Columbia. The cost to get in is $15 in advance, $20 at the door, and $5 children 10 & under. This is a great opportunity for all animal lovers to help. Please come and join in the No Kill Columbia efforts and help celebrate World Spay Day 2020.
I know this week’s column was a lot of information. I want to thank you for taking the time to learn about this local group and all they do to help community cats, because every cat matters. Conducting interviews is a lot of work. I definitely deserve my wet food this week. On a personal note, as a cat who has been rescued, all hooman efforts to help local cats is greatly appreciated. If you would like any more information about how to help, or just to pet me, stop by the office, I will be here. Or feel free to check out BCAC’s website at boonecountyanimalcare.com. Kelly will can also be heard on The Radio Friends with Paul Pepper on Thursday, March 5, from 8:50-9 a.m. on KBIA 91.3FM. Next week I’ll be back with observations.
Well that’s Squeaky’s Corner, until next time, meow.