October 2013 by Rick DuCharme

Audience: Executive Leadership

Video Length: 26 minutes

Feral Freedom is an innovative program that has decreased feline shelter euthanasia between 25% and 50% in every shelter it has been fully implemented. This talk, given by Rick DuCharme, Founder and Executive Director of First Coast No More Homeless Pets, presents an overview of the Feral Freedom program. He shares data explaining the affects this type of program can have on shelter populations and live release rates. This talk was part of the Face-to-Face with Feral Freedom workshop brought to you by The Target Zero Institute and Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida.

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop and implement a community cat management program for the entire community
  • Recognize and evaluate the dynamics of a Feral Freedom program on the shelter population
  • Summarize and prepare reporting to showcase results and immediate success in saving lives

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Bio photo of Rick DuCharme, in a blue shirt, smiling and holding a brown cat

About Rick DuCharme

Rick DuCharme came to the animal welfare world with a background in sales, marketing and management, working in the heavy equipment industry. He started in animal welfare by volunteering at various shelters and rescues and spent years observing and researching the issues. In 2001 DuCharme was appointed by Mayor Delaney of Jacksonville to serve on the "Mayor's Task Force for Animal Control" and was a strong advocate for an effective spay/neuter program. In 2002 DuCharme founded First Coast No More Homeless Pets, an organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in Jacksonville. Also in 2002 the SpayJax program was introduced as one of the first in the southeast government-funded targeted spay/neuter programs. The SpayJax program continues today and is widely given credit for reversing the trend of increasing volumes of dogs and cats entering and dying in Jacksonville's shelters.