RivCo Board of Supervisors backs Animal Services efforts to save cats’ lives as part of 5,000 Cat Challenge

RivCo Supervisors Back 5,000 Cat ChallengeThe Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday, March 12 to support two resolutions by Animal Services officials: one that would see healthy, uninjured cats returned to their native environments, and the other providing support for the 5,000 Cat Challenge—an initiative that seeks to improve live outcomes for cats in Riverside County in 2024.

“Many cats impounded in county shelters are unsocial ‘feral’ cats and lost cats. These cats have few opportunities for adoption or placement. Also, fewer than 2% of shelter cats are reclaimed by their owners. We can help save cats’ lives by returning those cats that are healthy and not injured to where they were found,” said Dr. Kim Youngberg, assistant director, Riverside County Department of Animal Services.

There are no state laws that restrict cats from roaming. In fact, it is believed that many of the lost, healthy cats brought to the shelter by well-meaning residents are someone’s pet, Youngberg added.

Cats that are sick or injured will be accepted into the shelter system where veterinary staff will work to restore the animal’s health, along with spay/neuter services, if available, so that they can then be adopted, fostered or returned to their owner.

The initiative to improve the outcomes and promote the health of Riverside County cats is part of a larger, countywide effort called the 5,000 Cat Challenge, a resolution also unanimously accepted by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Action items for the challenge include reducing barriers to adoption, a robust community cat program, foster, rescue, foster and spay/neuter opportunities, as well as managing intake in a way that aims to keep cats out of local shelters.

Since the January launch of the challenge, Animal Services officials have begun partnering with local community Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) groups to spay/neuter more than 100 cats at the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus and Western Riverside County Animal Shelter.

Youngberg added: “This is about saving cats’ lives at a time when our shelters are extremely overcrowded with lost pets and strays. The longer an animal languishes in the shelter system, the more at risk it is of not having a live outcome. We are looking forward to working with our partners to meet that challenge.”

To view adoptable pets from any of Riverside County Department of Animal Services shelters, visit: Adoptable Pets | Riverside County Department of Animal Services.

To learn more about foster opportunities, email foster@rivco.org.

Visit www.rcdas.org.

Photo caption above: Veterinary staff works to restore a cat’s health, along with spay/neuter services.

Image Sources

  • Cat Challenge: Riverside County
  • 2024-Saving-Cats-Life-800×568: Riverside County