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THE CIVIC PROJECTS VOLUNTEERS CHOOSE FURKIDS FOR ATLANTA VISIT
Homeless Animals are Affected by the Economic Climate
Atlanta, Ga. (December 17, 2009) – On January 4, 2010, Tim Malcolm and Kirsten L’Orange, founders of The Civic Projects, will begin a 14,000-mile cross country journey to promote social awareness and service by donating their time in 50 communities in 50 states in 50 days. Ten days later, they will arrive in Atlanta, where they will spend the day as volunteers for Furkids, (www.furkids.org) the nonprofit organization that maintains the largest cage-free, no kill animal shelter in Georgia.
Furkids rescues homeless animals and keeps them healthy and happy until they are adopted into permanent homes. Its mission is to help end pet overpopulation in Georgia through sterilization, high-quality adoption and by providing valuable spay/neuter services and pet care education to people in the community. Furkids shelters some 400 animals in its no-kill program, either in bright, open rooms at the Furkids facility, kept by foster caregivers in their homes or temporarily housed at five PetSmart and two PETCO metro Atlanta locations.
While they volunteer at Furkids, Tim and Kirsten will serve as honorary veterinary technicians, helping the Furkids vet techs prepare cats for spaying and neutering by the Furkids vet, Dr. Melvin Gordon. Pet overpopulation is a severe problem in metro Atlanta.
The Civic Projects (www.thecivicprojects.org) serve 50 communities in all 50 states during just 50 days in an effort to create awareness and garner support for locally run service organizations, as well as motivate local residents to get out into their own communities and serve.
As the number of unemployed Americans climbs to approximately 15 million and charitable giving declined for the first time in 20 years, nonprofit organizations are struggling to meet increased service demands on smaller budgets, making volunteers even more vital to the health of our nation’s communities. The Civic Projects seeks to bring awareness to community-based service organizations hard-pressed by today’s economic climate. Furkids is a good example of such an organization.
While Furkids is committed to taking in and caring for homeless animals, its resources are stretched to the limit. The organization’s leaders and volunteers are scrambling to tap into sources of funding and support to keep meeting the organization’s mission.
Furkids has approximately 400 homeless animals in its program; and donations are down significantly over last year. Yet intakes have not slowed down. During the summer alone, Furkids took in 60 new cats that were left at the shelter’s front door. It even took in a kitten that someone had left in a box on a shelf at one of the PetSmart stores where Furkids runs the adoption centers.
“Animals don’t recognize an economic recession – they have no way of preparing for one, and yet they are still enormously affected by the economic climate,” said Kirsten L’Orange of the Civic Projects. “People do not have enough money to take care of their pets and are forced to give them up, or simply release their animal and let it fend for itself. Organizations like Furkids are so important because they provide animals with love and care until those animals find permanent homes, without the deadline of impending euthanization.”
Pet overpopulation is a staggering problem in metro Atlanta, and the statistics paint a grim picture. As of 2005, in 19 county animal control shelters, 130,000 animals were impounded (www.SPOTsociety.org). Of the animals impounded, a mere eight percent were reclaimed and only 22 percent were adopted or transferred to rescue agencies.
“It is a tragedy that animal control operations were forced to euthanize almost 60 percent of the animals they impounded because of a lack of families in metro Atlanta willing or able to adopt them,” said Furkids executive director Samantha Shelton. “The story is even worse in some remote counties, where as many as 90 percent of homeless animals were euthanized for lack of adoptive families.”
In the veterinary clinic in its shelter, Furkids can neuter and spay between 750 and 1,000 animals, primarily cats, per year.
Neutering is a keystone of the organization’s program. Furkids sterilizes all of the unaltered animals in its program before placing them in adoptive homes, providing the service to more than 750 animals in 2008. “It’s such an honor that the Civic Projects has chosen Furkids to help illustrate the magnitude of the pet overpopulation problem and help us solve it.”
Furkids, a registered 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, was founded in 2002 when Ms. Shelton found a mother cat depositing three newborn kittens in her back yard. What began simply as a quest to find shelter for four cats in a place where they wouldn’t be euthanized has grown into a nonprofit organization that operates the largest cage-free, no kill shelter in Georgia. Since its 2002 inception, Furkids has rescued and altered more than 5,000 animals. More information is available at www.furkids.org.