PAWS AND CLAWS SOCIETY
(Formerly FRIENDS OF GLOUCESTER COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER)
Paws and Claws Society (formerly named Friends of Gloucester County Animal Shelter) was created to supplement and expand the Gloucester County Animal Shelter’s ability to help people and animals. After assessing the needs of animals in the county, three major goals were clearly identified by our organization. As a result, the group formulated the 10/10/10 strategic plan with those goals incorporated as summarized below:
10% increase each year in the number of animals adopted
10% reduction each year in the number of unwanted animals that the shelter receives
10% reduction each year in the number of animals that the County of Gloucester kills
To accomplish the objectives and reach the goals established in the 10/10/10 Plan, the three prong approach outlined below was developed:
- Increase Adoptions by 10% via
- Satellite Adoption Sites
- Double Adoption Program
- Pretty Pets Grooming Program
- Media Campaign to promote the G.C. Animal Shelter
- Education, Education, Education of the Public
- Spay/Neuter to Reduce Pet Overpopulation by 10% via
- Spay/Neuter Assistance (financial, transportation, information)
- Cat Lovers Campaign to locate & spay/neuter cats
- Cat Spay Day
- Stray and Feral Cat Assistance Program
- Legislation (review current & draft future)
- Education, Education, Education of the Public
- Education & Media Campaign (Teach & Promote the 4 S’s)
- Stop and Adopt from the G.C. Animal Shelter
- Spread the Word
- Support Your Local Animal Shelter
The first major program initiative undertaken by our organization originated in 1993 and sought to develop and implement methods to increase the number of good, permanent adoptions by 10% and, thereby reduce the number of healthy companion animals killed in the shelter by 10%. One vehicle used to meet this goal was the establishment of several hands-on satellite adoption sites at various locations throughout Gloucester County. This course of action proved very successful and a definite increase in the number of good adoptions can be directly attributed to the Satellite Adoption Program. This program later evolved into the Petsmart Program
Media promotion of the shelter and education is a continual process with both the shelter staff and FoGCAS members seeking exposure through free visual, audio, and print media. In addition, an aggressive multi-media campaign was implemented using funding awarded by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Our spay/neuter message was seen throughout the county on free roving billboards, road signs, cable TV and print public service announcement and press releases.
We entered the second stage of the 10/10/10 Plan (to decrease by 10% the number of animals entering the shelter arena) with the receipt of a grant in 1994 from the Bernice Barbour Foundation to initiate our “Cat Lovers Campaign”. As a result of the $1,000 grant award, we were able to locate 19 elderly individuals over the age of 60 and provide the assistance necessary to spay/neuter their 32 feline friends. In 1995, the “Cat Lovers Campaign” was expanded to include residents of apartment complexes.
PACS continued its efforts to locate unaltered cats and ensure that these animals were spayed/neutered. “Cat Spay Day“; a one-day spay/neuter event was initiated in 1995. This event was funded in part with a grant award from the Bernice Barbour Foundation. The success of this initiative prevented the birth of thousands of unwanted cats. Many of those cats would have found their way into the shelter arena where they undoubtedly would have been killed.
As with the goal to increase adoptions, all efforts to educate the public are on-going. In 1995, PACS received a grant award from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation which provided the opportunity to initiate a formalized, structured program of humane education in Gloucester County via sponsorship of the publication KIND News. All children in one entire grade enjoyed the award-winning monthly newspaper that welcomed them to the world of kindness and emphasized the proper care of animals.
“Stray and Feral Cat Assistance” certainly epitomized our philosophy of prevention, not destruction. First initiated in 1997 with a grant from Elinor Patterson Baker Trust, this program assisted cat caretakers who had assumed responsibility for at least three feral or stray cats, either with a history of having litters or in danger of getting pregnant.
The third prong of the Plan is the ongoing educational component that will accompany all programs at all stages using all means of communication available. The Four Steps that New Jersey residents need to climb in order to eliminate the cycle of cruelty caused by pet overpopulation is aggressively stressed; STOP AND ADOPT from their local animal shelter; SPAY/NEUTER their pets; SPREAD THE WORD to friends, family, and others; SUPPORT their local animal shelter by volunteering their time, talent, and dollars.
PAWS AND CLAWS SOCIETY
STRATEGIC PLAN — NO-KILL VISION
“CIRCLE OF COMPASSION FOR ANIMALS”
Paws and Claws Society (PACS) and our sister organization the Norman E. and Gwyneth L. Staats Foundation desire to help facilitate the establishment of no-kill communities where companion animals can expect to come and be saved, temporarily sheltered, and ultimately placed into loving, responsible homes; not to be destroyed. The groundwork necessary to implement this vision began in August, 2005 as solid relationships with organizations and individuals in Cape May County were formed to create an ever stronger force known as PACS Partners in Prevention Not Destruction. Together, Paws and Claws Society, the Staats Foundation, Cape May County Animal Shelter, CMCASA, Beacon Animal Rescue, Animal Outreach, Animal Welfare Society, and Ocean City Humane Society implemented a very aggressive spay/neuter and educational program throughout Cape May County. With the help and support of the veterinary community and committed individuals in the county, more than 3,000 free Paws and Claws spay/neuter certificates were immediately distributed throughout Cape May County. At the same time, Staats Foundation grant awards were allocated to several CMC organizations for spay/neuter, which would fund an additional surgeries. Funding for educational programs and adoption incentives was also provided.
Prevention Not Destruction Partners were ready to take animal services to the next level and commit to establishing a no-kill community in Cape May County. In keeping with that goal, the first and foremost objective for calendar year 2007 was to save every adoptable companion animal that came into their care and place it in, or return it to, a loving, responsible home. CMC Partners used every available resource, both internal and external, public and private, paid and volunteer to accomplish this objective.
For planning purposes, eliminating the euthanasia of “adoptable” animals require developing and implementing bold new strategies. The initiatives delineated below can be broadly categorized into three general areas:
Activities that would decrease the number of surplus animals in Cape May County and would therefore reduce the number entering the shelter environment. These activities are directed toward minimizing the circumstances under which pets are abandoned or surrendered to the Animal Shelters and reducing the total number of vulnerable animals by encouraging sterilization and providing access to low-cost spay/neuter.
Increasing the ability to deal with the large numbers of animals that inevitably enter the shelter environment until suitable homes may be found. This category includes increasing the speed and reliability with which animals who have become strays by misadventure may be returned to their owners. It also includes methods to provide education and other assistance to the general population in order to prevent the surrender of their animals to the Animal Shelters.
Placement includes activities that increase the probability that animals will be placed in suitable homes. Placement activities include advertising the availability of animals for adoption, instituting off-site adoptions, streamlining adoption procedures, and the transfer of animals to no-kill facilities in and out of Cape May County. An important aspect of this portion of the plan is the commitment of no-kill organizations to accept increasing numbers of animals from the local community Animal Shelters and Rescuers and guaranteeing their adoption.
Development and Implementation
To help achieve the lofty goal of establishing the first no-kill county in New Jersey, Paws and Claws Society and the Norman E. and Gwyneth L. Staats Foundation are calling upon our grantees and Partners in Prevention Not Destruction to join us and participate in the “Circle of Compassion for Animals” Initiative.
“Circle of Compassion for Animals”
“Circle of Compassion for Animals” is a PACS initiative under the auspices of the Norman E. and Gwyneth L. Staats Foundation that will provide program and financial support needed to establish no-kill communities. The “Circle” will bring together groups and individuals to form a coalition of animal advocates with the expectation that the success obtained in Cape May County can be duplicated elsewhere. In 2010, Cape May County became the first no-kill county in New Jersey.
CMC “Circle of Compassion for Animals” objectives are to:
- To increase the placements of adoptable, healthy cats and dogs
- To reduce the deaths of shelter dogs and cats
- To reduce the number of stray/feral cats in the county via TNR and placements
- To increase the number of spay/neuter surgeries
- To provide appropriate medical treatment, behavior modification and/or foster care to turn sick, injured, traumatized, infant or unsocialized animals into animals ready for placement.
The Staats Foundation and Paws and Claws Society (PACS) will offer grant funds and other financial support to “Circle” referred animals, including treatable and/hard to place animals in accordance with the established “Circle” definitions and payment schedule. Support will include all routine veterinary care, including spay/neuter, vaccinations, disease testings, and parasite treatment. In addition, other reasonable medical care and/or behavior modification training necessary prior to placement will be provided.
OUR Goals and Objectives THEN
OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS NOW
Paws and Claws Society is dedicated to improving the quality of life for animals in the State of New Jersey with an emphasis on programs and activities that:
Promote spay/neuter with an emphasis on cats
Activities undertaken to accomplish this goal include:
- Provide Free Spay/Neuter for cats — imperative for ending the killing of cats
- “Cat Lovers Campaign”. This program primarily focuses on locating multiple cat caretakers and provides these individuals with the financial or physical assistance needed to insure that their pets are spayed/neutered and not contributing to the cycle of cruelty caused by unchecked reproduction. Targeted populations specifically include the elderly population, residents of apartment complexes, and persons residing in rural areas where large numbers of stray and feral cats are located.
- Develop and distribute educational information to the general public via radio and television public service announcements, articles in local newspapers, and tabling by volunteers.
- Providing financial assistance for spay/neuter to low income residents and multi-animal caretakers
- “Cat Spay Day”. This one day event now coincides with National Spay Day. Cat caretakers are encouraged to come to designated locations to obtain free spay/neuter certificates that may be redeemed at a participating veterinarian.
- “Stray and Feral Cat Assistance”. This program certainly epitomized our philosophy of prevention, not destruction. This program assists cat caretakers who had assumed responsibility for at least three feral or stray cats, either with a history of having litters or in danger of getting pregnant. Kittens and former pets are rehabilitated, socialized, placed in foster homes awaiting permanent adoption.
- Develop and implement a policy of operation for stray and feral cat rescue.
- Establish a network of cat rescue groups and individuals.
- Advertising campaign designed to educate and inform the public on the need to spay/neuter.
Increase the rate of good, permanent adoptions
Activities undertaken to accomplish this goal included developing programs to:
- “Satellite Adoption Program”. Program methodology began with the establishment of several hands-on satellite adoption sites at various locations. PACS volunteers, with the help and cooperation of several local businesses, staffed these locations several days each week. They served as ambassadors, educators, adoption counselors, and animal caretakers. This program evolved into the Petsmart Luv-A-Pet Program.
- “Double Adoption Program”. This program affords residents the opportunity to adopt two pets by subsidizing the cost of one animal’s spay/neuter surgery
- “Pretty Pets Program”. This program helps pets put their best paw forward by providing them with bathing or other grooming needs.
- “Senior Pets for Seniors”.
- “Circle of Compassion”.
“I ask for the privilege of not being born … not to be born until you can assure me of a home and a master to protect me, and a right to live as long as I am physically able to enjoy life … not to be born until my body is precious and men have ceased to exploit it because it is cheap and plentiful.” Need we say more? Pet overpopulation is a monumental problem. Spay/Neuter is the solution.
Cat Lovers Campaign
PACS (formerly Friends of Gloucester County Animal Shelter) identified unchecked cat reproduction as the number one pet problem in Gloucester County in 1994. Most of the cruelty endured by cats can be directly attributed to the failure of residents to spay/neuter their cats. These cats produce litter after litter adding to the surplus numbers of unwanted animals. Let’s face it; there just aren’t enough homes for all the cats being born.
Our “Cat Lovers Campaign was developed to interrupt this reproduction cycle of cruelty at its roots; with the first cat or cats in the cat lovers’ control, before the numbers get out of control. The program reaches out to residents with unaltered cats, educates them on the need to spay/neuter and, if necessary, assists them physically and financially whenever possible. This single program is responsible for saving the lives of thousands of felines yet to be born.
Cat Lovers Campaign: Spay/Neuter Assistance for Cat Caretakers
PACS continually builds on our “Cat Lovers Campaign” spay/neuter program which began with physical and financial assistance to the elderly population. This goal was later expanded to include residents of apartment complexes. Because of the transient nature of many of these individuals, it is imperative that they be educated in the rewards and responsibilities of pet ownership. This program now also targets multiple cat caretakers, especially those individuals residing in rural areas where large numbers of stray and feral cats reside. Many of the residents are elderly, disabled, and/or low income who wish to do the right thing by these cats, but just can’t afford to spay/neuter the three or more cats that they are feeding. Counseling and assisting these individuals will have an enormous effect on the numbers of neglected and abandoned unaltered cats. Left unchecked, these cats will produce litter after litter of unwanted pets relegated to a miserable existence in a harsh environment. This cycle of cruelty will continue until such time as they are picked up and killed in a shelter, hit and killed by a car, injured and killed by other animals or deranged human, or are killed by disease or malnutrition. Whatever the scenario, the outcome is the same for the cat; it is KILLED! The average life of a cat on the streets is two years, lived the hard way. Our “Cat Lovers Campaign: Spay/Neuter Assistance for Cat Caretakers ” seeks to interrupt this cycle of cruelty at its roots before the tragedy unfolds.
Cat Lovers Campaign: Stray and Feral Cat Assistance
Our “Stray and Feral Cat Assistance” certainly epitomizes our philosophy of prevention, not destruction. This program assists cat caretakers who have assumed responsibility for at least three feral or stray cats, either with a history of having litters or in danger of getting pregnant. Paws and Claws Society has always held the belief that individuals willing to care for these animals should receive assistance with the cost of the expensive spay/neuter surgeries. Many caring people who really want to help and do the right thing for these cats just find the cost too prohibitive.
Cat Lovers Campaign: (SAFER) Stray & Feral Eminent Rescue TNR Program
This program expansion continues to specifically target the cat crisis in New Jersey. Its primary goal remains the reduction in the number of unwanted births and, therefore, the reduction in the numbers of healthy animals that must be killed. Its secondary goals include increasing the rate of life-long pet Adoptions and educating the general public about the pet overpopulation tragedy, its causes, and its solutions.
“Stray and Feral Eminent Rescue” TNR component of the Cat Lovers Campaign is a real benefit for our feline friends. Program services are provided directly by PACS volunteers or by networking with individuals and rescue organizations. This Coalition of Volunteers provides the physical and/or financial assistance needed to insure that these cats no longer add to the cycle of cruelty caused by unchecked reproduction. The program insures that no future generations of these cats are born and, therefore, not subjected to the same harsh and oftentimes cruel existence.
We can reasonably expect to spay/neuter 1200 stray or feral cats in a twelve month period and anticipate that 50% will be kittens or abandoned former pets that we will successfully place for adoption. The result will be a substantial reduction in the number of unwanted births and an increase in the quality of life for these furry felines; half will be adopted into loving homes and the remaining half will be spayed/neutered, receive medical care, and returned to be nurtured by individual homeowners or by a caretaker of a managed colony.
“Stray and Feral Eminent Rescue” TNR initiative certainly epitomizes our philosophy of prevention, not destruction. Breaking the cycle of cruelty caused by pet overpopulation has been the primary goal of our organization since its inception in 1993, with a minimum of 60% of revenues allocated for the purpose of spay/neuter.
It is recognized that seeking adoptive homes for homeless animals is an integral part of a complete animal care program. Animals which are reasonably healthy will be placed in a foster home as long as space is available while continuing efforts are made on their behalf to locate an acceptable adoptive family. Every attempt will be made to socialize the animals and to clean and groom them so that they will be more attractive to potential adopters.
Cat Spay Day
This one-day spay/neuter event is aggressively publicized well in advance in order to educate residents about the cat overpopulation problem, its causes, and how they can be part of the solution. Emphasis is placed on promoting spay/neuter and the responsible pet care that is needed to end the unnecessary killing of America’s most popular companion animal. Free spay/neuter coupons are distributed to cat caretakers which must be redeemed within two months at the participating veterinarian of their choice. The coupons allow for data to be collected which provides us with a cat profile that may be useful when assessing future needs. “Cat Spay Day“; a one-day spay/neuter event was initiated in 1995. The first Cat Spay Day was a complete success and as a result of this program, 181 cats belonging to 115 residents were spay/neutered. The second annual “Cat Spay Day” event was even more successful evidenced by the 197 cats belonging to 111 residents that were altered. Based on the success of past years, we can reasonably expect to distribute at least the same number of coupons in future years.
Satellite Adoption Program
We initiated the “Satellite Adoption Program” just four months into our organization’s existence with the establishment of several hands-on satellite adoption sites at various locations throughout Gloucester County. Our volunteers, with the help and cooperation of several local businesses, staff these locations several days each week. They serve as ambassadors, educators, counselors, and animal caretakers who take this opportunity to interact with these abandoned pets and provide them with a lot of human love and companionship. Since its inception in August, 1993, the Satellite Adoption Program has proven very successful. Many good adoptions can be directly attributed to the program. To date, every companion animal showcased at a satellite site has been placed for adoption.
Double Adoption Program
Our “Double Adoption Program” is a real win-win opportunity for everyone!! Our feline friends benefit, residents benefit, and the community itself benefits.
Adopters double their pleasure when they double adopt and two homeless pets find love and companionship. PACS knows that the only thing better than having one pet is having two pets. Today, many individuals have very busy work schedules and, consequently, their pets spend much of their day alone. Many prospective adopters recognize that it could be advantageous to adopt two pets so they have each other for company, but find the initial cost of spay/neuter prohibitive. Our Double Adoption Program makes it financially possible for residents to adopt two pets by underwriting the cost of the second lower-cost spay/neuter surgery.
Benefits include (1) increasing the rate of pet adoptions; (2) reducing the number of animals that must be destroyed; (3) increasing the probability that adoptions will be for life; (4) providing stimulation and companionship of a second pet thereby increasing pet contentment; (5) reducing the development of unacceptable behavior caused by boredom; (6) providing owners with peace of mind knowing that their pets are happy and content at home with a feline friend during those times when work and social obligations keep them from home
Foster Care and Adoption Program
Our dedicated volunteers play matchmaker to some wonderful people and some equally wonderful pets. They counsel residents before, during and after adoptions, sharing with them many gems of wisdom and pearls of knowledge about pets. Our volunteers serve as ambassadors, educators, counselors, and animal caretakers who care for abandoned pets, providing them with lots of love and companionship while they wait for a second chance at life.
Some animals arrive at PACS in various stages of neglect and may need more TLC (tender, loving, care) than any shelter is able to give. Our special volunteers provide foster care for these pets and lavish them with attention until they are whole again and ready to be placed in a permanent, loving home.
Pretty Pets Program
The animals that arrive at PACS are a truly mixed group. They come in all sizes, all ages; all coat types, and all types of condition. There are cats with mats down to the skin, and dogs with toenails that have completely grown into the pads. Some animals have fleas and ticks, while others have spots or mange. Many of the animals need a quick bath, while others need a complete shave. We have no control over the condition of the animals that come to our door, but we want to give them the best possible opportunity for adoption. Improving their appearance can often save their lives.
Homeless animals are bathed, combed, clipped, ears are cleaned and nails are trimmed. We don’t look for fancy results, but work hard to make the animals presentable. We know that clean, unmatted animals will appeal to the public and it is the public that will open their hearts and homes to these wonderful pets.
Medical Assistance and Save-A-Life Medical Programs
PACS is sometimes called upon to provide medical assistance necessary to alleviate the pain and suffering caused by illness or injury. Many times, this assistance means the difference between life and death.
Fix and Feed Our Pets in Need
During this time of economic uncertainty, families especially need the comfort of their pets. To have to take the heart-wrenching step of giving up your beloved pet to an already overflowing shelter would be devastating to the emotional stability of the family, especially the children. Children don’t understand recessions and job loss; they only understand that they love their pets. Our pets are part of our families. They make us laugh, they’re fun to snuggle and they are a great source of comfort during difficult or stressful times.
Paws and Claws Society is working to make sure that your neighbors don’t have to make that impossible choice of feeding their pets or feeding themselves.
Give A Little Bowl of Love
Paws and Claws Society continued our commitment to helping caretakers feed their pets. The need is urgent and PACS endeavors to insure that struggling cat colony caretakers receive the support they and their cats need and deserve.
Additional PACS Programs
Share the Love
Celebration of Life
Fix A Friend
Shore Fix for Ferals