$12,000 grant to help Madison County with spay, neuter program

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Skipworth Veterinary Assistant Abby Frederick brings a community cat in for examination and spay services. Photo Credit Katie Banks

MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) — The Madison County Animal Shelter has been awarded a grant for a cat spay and neuter program.

The $12,000 Joanie Bernard Foundation and Team Shelter USA, Bluegrass Cat Spay Neuter Project grant is to provide spay and neuter services for community cats in Madison County.

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The award is in partnership with the Bluegrass Area Development District’s Bluegrass Cat Spay Neuter Project.

That project also includes Anderson, Boyle, Clark, Estill, Franklin, Garrard, Harrison, Lincoln, Mercer, and Powell counties

“I am really proud of our grant team who has been laser focused on finding alternative means of funding important projects concerning our county,” said Judge Executive Reagan Taylor. “In addition, I greatly appreciate the work of Drs. Pizano and Skipworth for working with our Madison County Animal Shelter team. Their support will ensure reduction in our community cat population in Madison County.”

Madison County was selected based on a Bluegrass Community and Shelter Needs Assessment, conducted by Dr. Sara Pizano and animal welfare strategist with Team Shelter USA.

“Community cats are defined as outdoor cats and can be friendly or feral. I am so thankful to the Joanie Bernard Foundation for funding this spay neuter program. When cats are spayed and neutered it eliminates many unwanted behaviors and prevents future litters. Everyone benefits,” Taylor said.

Madison County is partnering with Skipworth Veterinary Clinic to provide the spay and neuter service in Madison County. To schedule an appointment, citizens can contact Skipworth Veterinary Clinic at (859) 623-0008.

The grant will cover the cost of the spay/neuter as well as rabies, basic vaccinations, and ear-tipping for the cat. Upon completion of the spay or neuter, the clinic will release the cat back to the citizen who will return the community cat to their original location.

The goal is to reduce Madison County’s community pet population “in a safe and responsible manner,” Taylor explained.

The average female community cat gives birth three times a year with a litter of approximately three surviving kittens over a lifespan of 15 years. This means the average community cat can birth up to 135 kittens in its lifetime.

“This is a great opportunity for us to control the community cat population,” said Madison County Animal Shelter Director Katie Tibbs. “As a shelter, we receive numerous calls regarding cat colonies and spay and neuter is one of the best ways to reduce these populations.”

The other counties that were chosen for the Bluegrass Cat Project are Anderson, Boyle, Clark, Estill, Franklin, Garrard, Harrison, Lincoln, Mercer, and Powell counties.