Revolutionizing Animal Welfare

Posted by Mikayla Toffler
(@Mikayla Toffler)

What can the animal rights groups do about the 6.5 million animals that end up in shelters each year? And how about the 1.5 million of them who are killed each year? (Source: ASPCA)

Ruff Start Rescue is rethinking what it means to practice animal welfare. In an out-of-the-box initiative, its leaders developed a program in their homebase of Princeton, Minnesota to spay and neuter community stray cats. The typical animal welfare program tends to look more like foster homes or shelter programs. By comparison, Ruff Start’s brilliant idea works to solve the problem before it even emerges: by neutering stray cats, it eliminates their potential to reproduce, thus limiting the potential for future stray cats.

Annie, a cat up for adoption on Ruff Start’s website

But this initiative required some serious funding—surgeries are not cheap. In a kind of shot-in-the-dark idea, Jenna Trisko, the program’s development director, applied for the State Farm Neighborhood Assist Grant, which provides each of the 40 winners with a $25,000 grant toward their worthy cause. Members of the Princeton community rallied behind Ruff Start, showing up every day over the course of two weeks to cast their votes in favor of the program.

When Ruff Start won, they were ecstatic.

With the help of the grant, Ruff Start was able to neuter and spay 500 cats.

Click here to learn more about Ruff Start Rescue—and to see photos of the first pup they ever rescued!


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