CAWS seeks funding for spay/neuter work

By Hank Lohmeyer


The animal welfare group CAWS is seeking the county's help with a feral cat and dog spay/neuter project.

At the county commissioners' Sept. 6 meeting (held on Tuesday because of the Monday Labor Day holiday) CAWS representatives John Martindale, Rand Kokernot, Jacque Koehler and Christel Pretorius explained their plans for funding a "kick-off spay and neuter clinic" project.

The group's presentation to the BoCC focused on spay and neuter programs for dogs and cats. CAWS is seeking $5,000 financial support from Delta County this year for helping fund its feral trap, neuter and release clinic. The group asked the commissioners to increase its funding from $2,500 annually to the $5,000 for theirs and other animal welfare groups in the county. Additional funds would help pay costs of the spay and neuter program and make applications for additional grant funds stronger.

CAWS plans to approach other agencies for funding to help with its feral spay-neuter-release project, and it also hopes to enlist the cooperation of other animal welfare groups, the representatives told the BoCC.

"As soon as the goal of $5,000 for a feral spay and neuter clinic is raised, an identified area where feral cats are problematic will be targeted," states a CAWS advisory on the project. Pretorius added that Peach Valley has already been selected as the area where the spay-neuter-release efforts would be focused. The project would also rely on the cooperation and assistance of residents in the area, she added.

In a statement, Kokernot noted, "Unfortunately, shelters in the county, especially the CAWS shelter in Delta, are impacted financially by kittens from feral cats, which is why we approach the commissioners for help to find an alternative arrangement. CAWS will continue to play a role, but we can no longer carry the burden alone."

Pretorius adds, "We have sheltered hundreds of cats and dogs at an average expense of $400 each, and issued many spay-and-neuter vouchers to help control animal populations." Spay and neuter is the "main goal of CAWS," notes the group's advisory.

CAWS accepts tax deductible donations at P.O. Box 1736, Paonia, CO 81428.

The commissioners took no action on the request. The BoCC and administration will begin three days of departmental budget request hearings on Sept. 27. Final adoption of the county's 2017 budget takes place in December.