Knight Charitable Foundation Awards Animal Welfare Center $100,000 Grant

The Randolph H. Knight Charitable Foundation has awarded St. Croix Animal Welfare Center (SCAWC) a grant of $100,000, which will be disbursed over the next two years. It will serve to strengthen the existing low-cost/no-cost spay neuter program, with an emphasis on community cats through the center’s TNVR programs (Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Return).

“Although the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center has struggled with limited resources, it has demonstrated a resilient commitment to provide outstanding care to St. Croix’s animals. This $100,000 grant will assist the Animal Welfare Center to advance its initiatives in no-cost/low-cost spaying and neutering, and TNVR (Trap/Neuter/Vaccinate/Release) for the island’s community cat colonies. The St. Croix Animal Welfare Center is to be highly commended for its progress in making a positive impact on reducing animal overpopulation,” said Randy Knight, an RHK Charitable Foundation trustee.

Despite massive devastation from hurricane Maria, SCAWC has been fully operational in a temporary location since the beginning of this year. As of May 31, even without an animal control contract or associated funding, it has taken in over 1,200 stray/unwanted/abandoned animals, this year.

In 2015, the SCAWC began to add new and strengthen existing life-saving programs, choosing a pro-active approach to reducing the pet overpopulation issues plaguing the island. TNVR, low-cost spay/neuter, community wellness services, and increasing adoptions are some of the ways the animal center is proactively combating pet over-population, animal neglect and abandonment.

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The SCAWC has had the TNR program for community cats for many years, but with a dedicated veterinarian, it has now been able to increase those services. Through collaborative efforts with other rescue groups and individual cat caregivers, the number of community cats receiving free spay/neuter and health checks has increased significantly. TNVR services are now available Monday, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and are free. SCAWC encourages the community to take advantage of these services.

This program provides low-cost, outpatient care to owned animals, helping keep pets healthy and in their homes. Over 1,200 families have already visited the Community Clinic in 2018 to use the services, most never having taken their pet to a veterinarian in the past. By assuring that our community has access to affordable pet care and helping individual pet owners to keep their pets healthy and happy in their homes, the rate of abandonment due to illness or neglect will decrease. The result is fewer animals coming into the shelter unwanted.

Adoption has always been at the forefront of the SCAWC’s life-saving initiatives. Recent increased emphasis on local adoptions has resulted in more animals being placed on island. Our new adoption center (the Pet Place) in La Grande Princesse is a welcoming and playful experience. All summer long, there is no adoption fee for adult dogs.

For medical help or to make appointments for owned pets, call 778-1651. For help with missing pets, feral cats, strays or surrenders, call 778-1650. For adoptions, call 340-725-PETS

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