Development district gets grant for cat program

Published 6:50 am Wednesday, February 15, 2023


The Bluegrass Area Development District announced it has received a $250,000 grant from the Joanie Bernard Foundation and its Give Them Ten Movement to continue spaying and neutering of cats in 13 central Kentucky counties. This is the fourth year this grant, known as the Bluegrass Cat Project, has been awarded and is based on an animal welfare study conducted by Team Shelter USA, LLC in 2018.

Thanks to the generous support of the Joanie Bernard Foundation, an Ohio-based cat welfare organization whose mission is to create a no-kill cat nation, more than 7,632 cats have been spayed or neutered since the beginning of the program. The Bluegrass Cat Project has been contracting with local veterinarians and the Woodstock Animal Foundation to provide the spay and neuter service through their local animal shelter or humane society and is managed collaboratively between Dr. Sara Pizano, founder and consultant of Team Shelter USA and the Bluegrass Area Development District (Bluegrass ADD).

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This year, another $250,000 has been awarded to continue the work with 13 service providers, a combination of private practice veterinarians and non-profit spay/neuter programs for an overall investment in the Bluegrass Area Development District of more than $1 million. The counties awarded funding for cat spay and neuter include Anderson, Boyle, Clark, Estill, Franklin, Garrard, Harrison, Jessamine, Lincoln, Madison, Mercer, Powell, and Scott Counties. The grant will cover approximately 3,000 spay/neuters throughout these counties with the long-term goal of continuing to reduce shelter intake of cats and the euthanasia for space of healthy cats.

“These funds will help to further the Give Them Ten Movement which seeks to improve the lives of cats by creating a community that understands cats and takes actions to protect them, including spaying and neutering,” said Deborah Cribbs, founder and director of the Give Them Ten Movement. “This is one more step towards our mission of creating a no-kill nation for cats.”

The BGADD’s mission is to enhance the economy of our communities through planning to maximize resources, projects to promote development, and programs to improve the quality of life for the citizens of the region.

Dr. Sara Pizano, founder of one of the program’s managing organizations, Team Shelter USA, said, “I continue to be impressed with the dedication and hard work of so many veterinarians, non-profit clinics and shelters who have come together to make this program so successful. And this program would not be possible without the partnership of the BGADD.”

David Duttlinger, Executive Director of the Bluegrass ADD added, “The Bluegrass Area Development District was formed to bring regional solutions to problems that have no boundaries.  That is why we are thankful to the Joanie Bernard Foundation for their continued support and trust in the BGADD to continue this service.”