The Challenge aims to save one million cat lives within five years
April 5, 2017
Sharon Fletcher, Director of Marketing & Communications
NEW YORK-The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) has joined forces with Maddie's Fund®, the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program, and Maddie's®Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida to support the Million Cat Challenge (The Challenge). The Challenge helps animal shelters increase the number of cat lives they save, and aims to save 1 million cats within five years. Since its inception in 2014, The Challenge has already saved more than 750,000 lives.
"The Million Cat Challenge has a broad base of appeal, so it should have a corresponding broad base of support," said Dr. Laurie Peek, Maddie's Fund Executive Leadership Team. "The ASPCA will bring more national exposure and attention for the plight of vulnerable cats, in addition to their professional expertise."
"The ASPCA is excited to partner with Maddie's Fund - and both UC Davis and the University of Florida - on the Million Cat Challenge to increase the impact of this life-saving initiative," said B.J. Rogers, vice president of ASPCA ProLearning. "We look forward to joining forces to help save even more lives by helping challengers to reduce euthanasia and increase live outcomes for the millions of cats entering shelters each year."
"Bringing the power of the ASPCA on board will accelerate the momentum that's driving transformational change on behalf of shelter cats," said Challenge co-founder Dr. Julie Levy of the Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida. "This is an unprecedented collaboration to turn shelters into the safe havens for cats that they always wanted to be."
The Million Cat Challenge launched in 2014 with funding from Maddie's Fund, a national foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals. More than 1,100 shelters have signed up for the Challenge in the U.S. and Canada combined. The campaign focuses on five key initiatives pioneered at shelters across North America to save cats' lives:
- Alternatives to Intake:Provide positive alternatives to keep cats in the home or community when admission to a shelter is not the best choice.
- Managed Admission:Schedule intake of cats to match the shelter's ability to assure humane care and safe movement through the shelter system to an appropriate outcome for every cat.
- Capacity for Care: Match the number of cats cared for at any one time with the capacity required to assure the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare for all cats in the shelter.
- Removing Barriers to Adoption: Expand the pool of adopters by removing barriers to adoption such as cost, process, or location.
- Return to Field: Sterilize, vaccinate, and return healthy un-owned shelter cats to the location of origin as an alternative to euthanasia.
To learn more about the Million Cat Challenge, please visit www.millioncatchallenge.org.
For more information about the ASPCA, please visit www.aspca.org.
For more information about Maddie's Fund, please visit www.maddiesfund.org.
About Maddie's Fund
Maddie's Fund® is a family foundation established in 1994 by Dave and Cheryl Duffield and is the fulfillment of a promise to their inspirational dog, Maddie. She provided them much joy from 1987 – 1997 and continues to inspire them today.
The Foundation has awarded over $255 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, pioneering shelter medicine education and establishing foster care as a standard across the U.S.
Maddie's Fund proudly offers the industry a national voice, important funding opportunities for bold ideas, learning resources and access to collaborate and share innovative solutions. The Foundation invests its resources in a commitment to keeping pets and people together, creating a safety net of care for animals in need and operating within a culture of inclusiveness and humility. #ThanksToMaddie.