Suwannee PAWS began primarily as a reduced-cost veterinary clinic, but due to the overwhelming numbers of homeless pets in this and surrounding communities, we were quickly flooded with requests for taking in animals. We cannot house animals permanently in our facility, but we are coordinating foster efforts. We also quickly realized that the budget for our local animal control agencies is so small that we would have to go into the shelters and donate services immediately in order to provide assistance. Please see a summary of the programs we have ongoing at this time, and remember all of these programs are donation-subsidized, currently we are absorbing a huge portion the costs, but with your help we can do even more! If any of these focus areas appeals to you please contact us to see how you can help!
HELP SHELTER PETS PROJECT
This addresses our main overall mission to assist shelter pets (dogs or cats) in need of medical care. We have donated free surgeries to shelter dogs and cats, and this general category is where we will apply for grant funding and community support to help our individual shelters in the area. We offer a 25% discount for any post-adoption spay or neuter which includes a free microchip placement at the time of surgery. Or, if a previously-fixed animal is adopted from our shelter, we will still place the free microchip. We also donate medications when possible to animals in the shelter.
August, 2017: THANK YOU FIRST FEDERAL BANK OF FLORIDA and COMMUNITY!!!!! Your collaboration helped raise $1000 to sponsor shelter pets through the Community Rewards Program!!! Two thousand swipes has helped save lives!!!!
FELINE SHELTER DIVERSION INITIATIVE (FSDI)
The FSDI began as a small pilot program in 2016 to help our local Suwannee county shelters, and focuses on diverting cat intake from local shelters or removing adoptable cats if they go to the shelter first. Over 70% of our local shelter overcrowding is from cats. We currently have two methods for helping: 1) Transfer out cats and kittens at high risk in our local shelter into our foster program, at which time we assume the possession and care of the cat until it is rehabilitated, spayed/neutered, tested for FeLV/FIV, vaccinated, dewormed, given flea prevention, or treated for medical illnesses that prevent adoption. 2) The Return-To-Shelter services, which include immediate in-shelter needs and includes all the above services but without the cats being placed into our foster system.
Why don’t all of them go into foster care? We don’t have enough foster families!!! Volunteer today if you can help us! Since we are limited on fosters at this time, we take the highest risk kitties out when we have space. We also donate vaccines, dewormer, and topical preventatives and medications to kitties when we have to return them to the shelter. Then, they stay there until they are either adopted from the shelter or until we have openings in the FSDI transfer program to our no-kill adoption partners. We are currently applying to more places for adoption outlets as well. NOTE: We are a proponent of the S-N-R / Million Cat Challenge, at this time we are in discussions with the shelter to implement this type of program. Currently there are no medical funds allocated to our shelters for surgery or treatment, so we are providing all on a donated basis.
SUWANNEE VALLEY CAT ASSISTANCE PROJECT:
While the FSDI focuses on shelter pets in our county, the SVCAP is a program (launching in 2018) which addresses the needs of homeless cats and kittens in the entire Suwannee Valley Region, including our surrounding counties. The SVCAP is a comprehensive approach to decrease feline overpopulation by helping cats in the region through reduced-cost spay/neuter, TNR, SNR, stray cat and shelter outreach, and to rehome cats into adoptive situations through collaboration or pet adoption centers. This also includes trying to help someone find a home for their owned cats if they can no longer keep them, as well as strays or unwanted kittens who are owned (not in the shelter system).
The concept of this program has evolved over several years, and is a logical combination of strategies to help with overpopulation and the health consequences it produces in cats. At this time in our area, there really is a “perfect storm” of contributing factors toward feline overpopulation. Our waiting list for cats who people want to help reaches 500 to 1000 each year, but many have no funding for even our reduced-cost services, so this leaves a huge unmet need. Many of these cats are socialized, loving kitties who would be very adoptable if they could have preadoption services and then be networked out for new homes.
SUWANNEE PAWS FOSTER-BASED RESCUE
To make these programs possible, we started a foster system for kittens and cats in need, because we do not have the ability to permanently house sheltered animals at our small medical clinic. The number of cats needing families to foster greatly exceeds the number of families we have who can foster, so please reach out to us if you would consider temporary housing of cats or kittens while they await adoption or transfer to a larger adoption agency. Contact us for the requirements of being a foster home today! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org; currently all fosters and FSDI kitties are coordinated through email channels by Dr. Daniels. This eliminates missed phone calls, paper sticky notes, miscommunications, and makes the process centralized.
If you can help us “transport” cats and kittens (and dogs) from Point A to Point B to help save or help a life, let us know! We may have a small need locally such as transporting feral cats or homebound / elderly clients’ pets, or longer needs such as a 4-hr to 5-hr transport of cats to our no-kill partners. What else can transporters do? Take kittens and cats from our FSDI program to and from foster families who may work or not be able to get to us during business hours!
**Page still under revision as of August 2017, thank you!!