The mission of First Coast No More Homeless Pets (FCNMHP) is to end the euthanasia of dogs and cats in shelters in its community in northeast Florida and across the nation. So, when the BISSELL Pet Foundation granted the organization with $5,000, it was earmarked for use in its Feral Freedom program.
The Feral Freedom program picks up feral cats from three county shelters, brings them to their facility where they are spay or neutered, ear-tipped, vaccinated, and after they have recovered, returned to their home. Because of this program, feral cats are no longer euthanized at shelters simply because they are feral.
When the Feral Freedom program was introduced in 2008, it was the first public-private collaboration in the nation to save feral, stray, outdoor and community cats that entered the city’s shelters. The program currently saves the lives of about 5,000 cats per year in Jacksonville, but the impact doesn’t stop there. FCNMHP also mentors other organizations on how to start similar programs. As more and more communities adopt the model, an estimated 20,000 additional lives have been saved across the country as a result.
About the BISSELL Pet Foundation
The BISSELL Pet Foundation is a charitable 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to help reduce the number of animals in shelters and to support organizations dedicated to the humane care and treated of animals through pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, microchipping and foster care. Founded in 2011 by Cathy Bissell, the BISSELL Pet Foundation is an extension of her long-standing love for animals and commitment to their welfare. The foundation is supported to BISSELL Homecare, Inc., a 137-year-old Grand Rapids-based floor care appliance brand in its fourth generation of family leadership.