POMEROY — An increased number of feral and semi-feral cats and kittens will be spayed or neutered, thanks to a grant awarded to the Meigs County Humane Society by the Two Mauds Foundation.
Vicky Baer, secretary-treasurer, said that the local Humane Society has received a $5,000 grant to be used to spay or neuter cats in the Society’s Trap/Neuter/Release project.
The Two Mauds Foundation is a small, private entity established in 1994 by the late Dallas Pratt, founder of Argus Archives, which disseminated information on the plight of animals, particularly in slaughterhouses and laboratories. The foundation provides cash awards each year to organizations whose work prevents or relieves the exploitation and suffering of animals, explained Baer.
The foundation, which is based in Virginia, was launched by Pratt, an American psychiatrist, animal rights campaigner, and founder of the American Museum in Britain. It was named for Maud Duke, the childhood governess of Pratt, and for Maud Pratt, his Scots terrier.
Baer said that the grant puts the Humane Society in an excellent position to ensure the cats in two cat colonies do not continue to breed. She noted that in the past year there has been an overwhelming number of requests for help for emergency veterinarian services along with additional costs for fostering animals. So we have been limited as to what we can do for these cats and kittens.”
The two cat colonies, one in Middleport and the other near Pomeroy, have at least 30 unspayed females in each. Baer explained that both colonies are fed by citizens, and the Humane Society removes sick/diseased cats.
“This grant will enable us to spay/neuter all of the female cats, as well as many male cats as we can catch in both colonies. If there are any grant funds left over, we would like to channel them into our sterilization voucher open to the low-income members of the public,” she said. To take advantage of the grant funds for help pay for personal pet sterilizations, owners will have to show proof of low income, such as a food stamp or Medicaid card, Social Security Disability, or unemployment verification, Baer explained.
She added that the Two Mauds is an unusual animal welfare organization for two reason —“first, the Two Mauds focus is on Appalachia, a region in this country too often ignored or misunderstood in terms of need. The Two Mauds recognizes the geographical difficulties as well as the scarcity of funding available to us. Second, the application process places its main emphasis on a face-to-face meeting so we were able to sit down with a representative to convey information and exchange ideas at the Meigs County Humane Society Thrift Shoppe in Middleport.”
The Meigs County Humane Society relies on donations to the shop and volunteers to operate it, as well as membership dues, to support its work in the county. This includes paying half of the salary of the part-time Humane Officer with the other half being paid by the Meigs County Commissioners.
“Spay and neuter assistance is paramount since this is the major reason people call us and it is a pressing problem in our county. Thanks to the Two Mauds, we can now sterilize the cats in the two cat colonies and keep them healthy.“ she concluded.