Thanks to a $30,000 grant, Cape Ann Animal Aid for the first time will be able to neuter male cats in-house before putting them up for adoption.
The money, a gift from Petco, which has a store at Gloucester Crossing, will also be used by the Gloucester animal shelter to enhance its pre-adoption veterinary care program.
“Because we are receiving so many animals, we’ve seen a delay with sending them to vets for pre-adoption care,” said Rebecca Baylies, Cape Ann Animal Aid's director of development and communications. “While we’re so grateful for what local vets do for us, we want to speed up the process of providing medical care for the animals who are waiting to be put up for adoption.”
The money will provide new supplies and equipment for Cape Ann Animal Aid’s exam room at the Christopher Cutler Rich Animal Shelter at 4 Paws Lane in Gloucester, built in 2012. There, staff veterinary technicians give vaccines, create and monitor the special diets of certain animals, provide IV drips, do prep-work for off-site vet visits and provide other types of supportive care for the shelter’s animals.
Petco’s investment in the shelter’s pre-adoption medical services comes from the Petco Foundation, which raises money through in-store promotions and donations from customers for grants for which shelters and other animal organizations can apply.
Much of the money given to Cape Ann Animal Aid was raised in partner Petco stores in Gloucester, Peabody and Danvers.
“Petco is really committed to investing in life-saving processes, and they are helping us save more animals,” Baylies said. “This is proof that these donations do go back to the community and that a major corporation is giving back.”
Female cats and all dogs will continue to be spayed and neutered at Cape Ann Veterinary Hospital, North Shore Veterinary Hospital and other local veterinary clinics due to the more complicated and surgical nature of these procedures.
Cape Ann Animal Aid hopes to eventually start an internal clinic under the direction of Dr. Alex Becket, its director of shelter medicine, that can neuter all pets and provide the majority of medical care for the shelter’s animals.
The shelter requires every animal it takes in to be neutered before being put up for adoption, a practice Baylies said is not always done in other shelters in the Northeast, where new pet owners usually only have to sign a voucher stating they will neuter their pets after adoption.
The pre-adoption neutering policy is part of Cape Ann Animal Aid’s attempt to curb pet overpopulation and the number of strays in the area. Sheltered animals needing further medical care before adoption also receive treatment from the shelter and local veterinary clinics.
The number of adoptions from Cape Ann Animal Aid rose from 769 animals a year in 2010 to 1,535 animals in 2018. Cape Ann Animal Aid Executive Director Sunniva Buck said the new funding from the Petco Foundation will continue to help increase this number.
“Adoption is becoming more and more popular in our area and we want to be able to keep up with that momentum so we can save more animals and make more adoption connections,” said Buck in a prepared statement. “The investment from the Petco Foundation will help to move animals from the arrival to available stage more quickly. We’ll be able to take in more animals and save more lives as a direct result.”
The $30,000 check will be presented to Cape Ann Animal Aid by Petco Foundation representatives at the Gloucester Crossing Petco at 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 23. The public is invited. Adoptable shelter animals will also be in attendance.
IF YOU GO
What: Petco Foundation presents a $30,000 grant to Cape Ann Animal Aid for its pre-adoption veterinary care program.
When: Sunday, June 23, at 11 a.m.
Where: Petco, 341 Gloucester Crossing Road, Gloucester.