Second Chance receives $6,000 grant to spay and neuter Orange County cats
The northwest corner of the Petco in Huntington Beach is the adoption center, a safe haven for Orange County felines.
“Please no dogs past this point,” a sign reads.
About a dozen cats play behind glass walls in the space.
The location is the Orange County home base for Second Chance Pet Adoptions. On Tuesday, the volunteer-run nonprofit received a big gift in its fight to reduce the overpopulation of cats in the community.
National nonprofit Petco Love presented Second Chance with a $6,000 grant. The investment will allow Second Chance to spay and neuter 50 cats in Orange County that would otherwise be left to breed, said Deanna Shapiro, a Second Chance board member.
Second Chance volunteers celebrated the location with balloons, and each also donned a plastic set of cat ears. The check was presented by Ray Ma, the Orange County district manager for Petco, as well as store manager Amy Eley.
Second Chance, which also has a location in Murrieta, also strives to find permanent homes for the adoptable cats and kittens in its care. But the spaying and neutering is also a valuable component for myriad reasons, said Vivianne Pulido of Second Chance.
“When they’re not spayed, not only do they multiply, but they gain aggressiveness,” Pulido said. “It also helps them lower their health risk as well. With a tomcat, once he’s neutered, he doesn’t spray on people’s property, he’s less aggressive and he has less chance of getting cancer as well. Same thing with a female cat. Her lifespan increases, she doesn’t procreate and she’s less aggressive as well.”
Pulido added that Huntington Beach has a large amount of coyotes in the area, and they tend to be attracted to feral cats.
Second Chance volunteers typically trap, neuter and return (TNR) the cats, Pulido said.
Huntington Beach resident Lynn Copeland is another Second Chance volunteer. She said people keep dumping cats in certain areas of the county, like Anaheim, Santa Ana and Garden Grove.
Additionally, OC Animal Care has stopped fixing feral cats for the last couple of years. OC Animal Care director Andi Bernard said in an email to Copeland that “it is OCAC’s understanding that the release of unowned cats into the community is prohibited” but that the organization is monitoring the situation carefully for statewide rulings that might impact the penal code.
The problem — too many cats and not enough homes — remains.
“Deanna gets emails everyday, ‘We found kittens, take these kittens,’” Copeland said. “Right now, we have over 70 in foster [care], and every rescue is full. Over the last month or so, they can’t even take any more.”
Copeland said she has two feeding spots set up in Fountain Valley so cats don’t go around foraging.
Petco Love has invested $330 million into adoption and other lifesaving efforts since it was founded in 1999.
“With us at Petco, we want to be able to support their mission, and what they do in the community as well,” Ma said.
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