Seattle Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project Celebrates 10th Anniversary

The free program has altered approximately 30,000 cats since its inception.

Posted: August 6, 2007 5 a.m. EDT

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The Seattle based Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project is celebrating its 10th anniversary
A Seattle nonprofit that spays and neuters feral cats for free celebrates its 10th anniversary.
Demonstrating exponential growth over the last several years, the Seattle-area Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project (FCSNP) celebrates its 10th anniversary and is now marked with the distinction of altering more cats in Washington State than any other organization, FCSNP officials said.

The nonprofit was launched in 1997 to combat cat overpopulation by offering free and low-cost sterilization services. In its first year, 160 cats were altered—by 2006 that number grew to 8,235.

“The cats in shelters are typically offspring from free-roaming cats,” said Julie White, executive director for the FCSNP. “The plan was to start a spay and neuter program for free-roaming cats, and [it began with] one time a month in a borrowed facility.”

Today, the organization rents out its own space and conducts four clinics per week, altering approximately 50 cats per clinic, White said. The FCSNP employs a veterinarian, a licensed veterinary technician and a veterinary assistant. All other staffers are trained volunteers.

Feral cats are altered for free. “Almost all funding comes from private donors,” White said. “We receive no government funding; we receive some grants.”

The FCSNP does not trap cats, but the felines are brought to the clinic from community volunteers. Cats are typically trapped using humane boxes that lure cats inside with food and close behind them after they enter.

After they’re altered, one of the cat’s ears is “tipped,” or clipped at the top, under general anesthetic. The procedure marks the cat’s altered status.

In addition to feral cats, the FCSNP alters cats brought in by rescue groups. Those cats do not undergo ear tipping because the groups attempt to adopt them into permanent homes. Rescue groups are asked to pay a $15 donation to neuter male cats, and $23 to spay female cats.

As the program embarks on its next 10 years, White said its goal eventually is to move to a larger facility and have other groups use the FSCNP as a model to implement similar programs around the country.

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Reader Comments

Karen    Modesto, CA

9/26/2007 4:00:34 PM

I live in Stanislaus County, in california.
We have a night-mare with cat over-population. When I saw your web-site. I can hardly believe my eyes. We put down over 20,000 cats and dogs a year in this county. Vets don't want low-cost S/N. We have a small feral group , that does only ferals. About 30 month, no stays or no rescue cats.
We need your program- Our animal shelter is over 30 years old.

Bill    Port Orchard, WA

8/30/2007 12:35:49 PM

We have four (4) feral kittens that need spaying/neutering.
We live in Port Orchard and have been trying to find a program in our area to no avail.
Neighbors mentioned that a program exists in the Purdy area but has provided no information.
Can you help. the kittens are approching 4 months. 360-876-5083

Tricia    Fort Wayne, IN

8/6/2007 7:39:18 PM

That is wonderful work that they are doing, I hope it will catch on all over.

Sheryl    Casa Grande, AZ

8/6/2007 2:56:51 PM

Sounds like a great program.

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