Community Partnership for Pets, Inc. (CPPI) was started in 2005 in Henderson County, NC with a passion and mission to simply do anything and everything possible to reduce the suffering and euthanasia of dogs, puppies, cats and kittens.
To accomplish our mission we had to do the following:
- stop the daily birth of unwanted puppies and kittens.
- prevent the dogs, puppies, cats and kittens living in our community from entering the shelter.
- get the dogs, puppies, cats and kittens currently in shelters or with rescue groups adopted into quality, loving homes as quickly as possible.
- educate our community on the plight of animals and the steps they could take to help.
- ensure local animal ordinances are in place and enforceable.
- create partnerships in the community to help animals.
Since 2005, the results of our work can be seen with 52% fewer animals entering the Henderson County Shelter and 78% more animals leaving the Shelter alive.
Our new mission is to partner with community and County organizations across North Carolina to establish programs to focus on eliminating the suffering and euthanasia of dogs and cats. Details of these programs are below:
Every program implemented is important, but spaying and neutering must be a priority.
A successful spay/neuter program must:
- serve both domestic dogs and cats as well as unowned cats (strays or ferals).
- offer high quality surgeries and post-surgical care.
- be affordable and easy to use.
- be a long-term program and not stop-n-start due to lack of funding or lack of volunteers/staff to run it.
- be available to all families regardless of their income.
- be actively advertised and publicized throughout the community. The community should always know where to go and who to call to get their pets spayed or neutered.
- must be part of a county-run animal shelter’s programs. These shelters must ensure all dogs/cats adopted from the shelter are spayed/neutered. These shelters must offer families turning in litters of puppies or kittens the means to fix the adult dogs or cats they have at home so there won’t be more litters coming into the shelter within a few months.
Pet Retention is a program designed is to help low-income/poor families keep their pets healthy. The simple fact is when a pet of a low-income/poor family becomes ill or injured, many families are unable to afford hundreds of dollars in veterinarian care. The family is left with few choices, but data shows that over 47% of the dogs and cats turned in to shelters are from low-income/poor families. Helping these families with pet services such as free pet food, routine and emergency veterinarian, vaccinations, etc., helps these families keep their pets in the home with them vs. having to give them up. The details of the Pet Retention Program are listed below.
Pet Food Pantry
Sometimes families are between jobs or had a major illness and have been unable to work. Sometimes they just need a couple extra bags of food until they get paid. Whatever the reason – helping these families and their pets improves the chances of the pet remaining with their family. It is important to help these families maintain a manageable number of pets as well, so offering them free spay/neuter surgery for their pets they are feeding is very important.
Emergency & Routine Veterinarian Care
Imagine living on $600 a month and your pet becomes ill or injured. The initial cost to see a veterinarian could range from $35-$100+. Depending on the illness or injury, the bill could skyrocket. Low-income/poor families are faced with this problem as anyone would be; however, for them they have few places to find ‘extra money’. Sadly, when dealing with ill or injured pets, these families are faced with making decisions about their pet which could include relinquishing them to a shelter or having them euthanized. An Emergency Veterinarian Care program gives low-income/poor families access to subsidized emergency veterinarian care for their pet.
Likewise having low-cost rabies vaccination clinics regularly help get a pet’s vaccinations up to date. Many times these same clinics offer low cost micro-chipping which helps these pets get back to their owner in case they are lost or stolen.
Providing these families access to discounted (or free) flea/tick medications, worming medication, etc., keeps pets happy and disease free. Parasites can be costly and many times deadly. Fleas and ticks can kill a young pet and quickly cause an adult pet’s health to decline. A single infected mosquito can bite a dog or cat and infect them with heart worms. A pet with heart worms will die if not treated and the cost to treat can range from $400-$1,000+. This cost is typically more than a low-income/poor family can afford. Giving these families access to preventative to all of the above services will keep pets healthy.
Adoption & Transport
Keeping dogs and cats out of a shelter in the first place OR getting them adopted quickly from the shelter, is key to reducing them from being euthanized. It is important when it comes to adoption that agencies actively promote adoptions. This means hosting weekly adoption events at places such as Petco, PetSmart and other local venues. This gives people a chance to see the dogs and cats in a venue other than the county-run animal shelter (which many people don’t want to come to). Having Saturday and Sunday hours of operation gives families a chance to look for a new pet outside of work hours. Many people resist visiting a shelter for fear their hearts will be broken seeing all the homeless dogs and cats or concern that the dogs and cats at the shelter are there because they have ‘issues’. This is just not true. When you are looking for a new pet, reach out to shelters, rescue groups and humane societies to adopt.
Another way to get dogs and cats out of a shelter is to transport them to quality shelters and rescue groups outside of North Carolina. Many States have had very strict spay/neuter policies in place for many years and are always looking for certain breeds of dogs, puppies, cats or kittens not available in their area. Dogs and cats transported outside of North Carolina are spayed or neutered and fully vetted so they arrive ready to meet their new family.
Animal Control & Enforcement
North Carolina has several State-mandated animal ordinances that each county must enforce. These State ordinances include laws related to rabies vaccinations, owning or harboring dangerous dogs, reporting of animal bites, etc.. Many counties in North Carolina also have local animal ordinances more specific to their communities. To enforce both State and local animal ordinances, some Counties use deputies or police officers. Some counties have set up a separate department called Animal Enforcement. Animal Enforcement deputies or officers have special training, special equipment, knowledge and authority to enforce both local and State animal ordinances.
Unfortunately, there are counties and communities in North Carolina that have no Animal Enforcement organization(s) and do not have any local animal ordinances. This leaves both the people and pets in a community or county at a huge disadvantage. It is important for residents to reach out to their local government, Sheriff or Police Departments to ensure their community has local ordinances and enforcement.
Dog and Cat 101
Every dog and cat owner has experienced issues with their pets. Barking, biting, chewing, not using a litter box, scratching furniture, etc.. While the internet is an good resource to ‘google‘ most issues, sometimes having someone to communicate with is ‘priceless’. Frustration with a pet can lead to the pet being given away, abandoned or taken to a shelter.
Many pet issues can be resolved without the pet losing its family. Free or low-cost dog training can get a dog or puppy back on track. Learning what to do when a cat refuses to use a litter box can mean the difference between a cat being an ‘inside’ cat or ‘outside’ cat or worse, being taken to the shelter.