The Friends of Madera Animal Shelter is a non-profit organization that helps raise funds for the Madera County Department of Animal Services in California. The shelter is located in the city of Madera, CA though Animal Services serves all of Madera County.
As we are all aware, budget cuts across the state of California have had dire consequences for everyone – especially animals. We hope you can learn more about our work through this site and consider donating to the shelter if you are able.
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For the third year in a row, the “Friends of Madera Animal Shelter” will be
participating in the Madera Sunrise Rotary Club’s “Trees for Charity Event” on
December 4, 2010. Decorated trees are entered from a variety of nonprofit
organizations and then auctioned off to the highest bidder. All the proceeds go to
that nonprofit organization. We have entered our tree, to not only raise funds,
but to bring awareness to our community about pet over population which is a
constant dilemma. Because of your past support, for the first time ever, we are
seeing a decline in the amount of animals being turned into our county shelter.
Unfortunately, there are still too many unwanted pets destroyed.
Shelter worker Tina Maxwell tries to contain an armful of sweet, friendly kittens available for adoption at the Madera County animal shelter. Sadly, there are too many kittens being born and not enough local homes to adopt them. Only 15 cats and kittens out of around 500, were adopted from the shelter for the entire month of June.
By DJ Becker/ NewsMadera.com
Colonies of feral or wild cats are growing in Madera County. To reduce the ever increasing number of feral cats that are being destroyed, a new trial program to help residents trap, alter and return wild cats to their habitat is being offered.
Funded by donations and the volunteer group The Friends of the Madera Animal Shelter, the program is called the CRV program ( Cat Redemption Value). It pays $10 per feral cat to residents willing to sign up, follow guidelines and assist with the capture, transportation and re release of the altered cats. Live traps are available on loan.
The program is a limited time offer and available for the first 300 feral cats.
Kirsten Gross, director of the Madera County Animal Shelter said the new program was a way to encourage and reimburse caring people to make an additional effort to help alter the animals and prevent the feral colonies of cats from multiplying.
The method, called trap, neuter and return is widely used by humane societies across the country and has proven to be successful in reducing feral populations. By stabilizing the existing population the wild cats live out the rest of their lives without adding to their numbers. By altering them there is also a reduction in fighting, urine marking and spraying, and other unwanted behaviors, according to Gross.
“The idea is to humanely trap, spay or neuter them, vaccinate them for Rabies and then return the feral cats safely to their point of origin. People feel sorry for the feral cats and often feed them. That’s OK, but it’s better to go one step further and alter them so they can live out their lives without reproducing,” Gross said.
Feral colonies of cats can spring up when just a few unaltered domestic cats are abandoned, neglected or escape from their owners. Outdoor cats often have greatly reduced life spans due to disease, malnutrition or injuries.
Gross said just a couple of wild, unaltered cats when fed by humans can quickly multiply into large colonies, posing a nuisance in a neighborhood, and the colony’s expand until eventually starvation or disease weakens or kills large numbers of the colony. The wild cats can also spread debilitating respiratory, and other fatal feline diseases such as feline leukemia to outdoor domestic cats that are not vaccinated. Feral cats are also potentially carriers of Rabies and can spread the fatal disease to humans, through saliva in a bite or scratch, said Gross. The Madera County Animal Shelter currently destroys all feral cats impounded, surrendered, or trapped by residents. Due to over crowding and the lack of adoptive homes even the majority of nice, friendly domestic cats and kittens are also euthanized according to Gross.
“For June the shelter had at least 500 cats come in, and about 300 of those were feral or wild. A lot of those were wild kittens, that people had been able to catch and were brought in from feral cat colonies. Sadly, we had only a total of 15 (friendly, domestic) cats and kittens adopted in the entire month of June. Like with dogs, there are way too many being born and not enough homes locally that want to adopt them,” Gross said.
The wild cats are only doing what comes naturally – surviving, and are very efficient at reproduction Gross said.
“Feral cats can produce kittens at incredible rates. Cats come into breeding heat several times each year and can be pregnant with their next litter even while nursing a current one. One female cat can have 30 kittens in a year. In less than a year, those kittens start having kittens,” Gross said outdoor cats are beneficial when they help reduce rodent populations, but they also can decimate the more fragile wild bird populations equally as well.
“When well meaning humans introduce an artificial food source – by feeding a colony of feral cats, the cats are no longer wild but dependent on people. Without spaying or neutering the increased nutrition allows the population to expand rapidly, often causing problems in their neighborhoods,. It also saves the taxpayer money, by preventing the thousands of unwanted and homeless litters of kittens from pouring into the shelter,” said Gross.
In order to qualify for the $10 per cat reimbursement program, residents must meet specific guidelines and sign up, prior to trapping cats. Cats must not belong to anyone and be wild, and not able to be handled. The trial program is open to Madera County residents only, is subject to change without notice, and other conditions apply.
For seniors and qualifying low income residents, friendly domestic cats can be altered for a $15 co pay, and dogs can be altered for a $20 co pay, through the ongoing FMAS spay and neuter programs. Applications can be picked up at the Madera County animal shelter at 14269 Road 28. For information on this and other programs please call 674-8667, visit The Friends of Madera Animal Shelter web site at http://www.gofmas.com or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To help with the feral cat program or other programs that help sick, injured or homeless shelter animals donations can be sent to FMAS PO Box 923, Madera, 93639
A Fundraiser for The Friends of Madera Animal Shelters’ Spay & Neuter program
Sponsored by Friends of Madera Animal Shelter
Our “Strut Your Mutt” event netted $10,400 for our Spay and Neuter Program.
An additional vehicle was purchased, a 2006 Ford Van for $11,000, to assist with transporting animals to rescues, veterinarian facilities and PetSmart by our Volunteers.
Our “Ride For The Barn” raised another $2,500 for additions to the Large Animal structure at the shelter, which was erected with the help of Sunrise Rotary Club in 2007.
We participated in the Community Charity Event, Madera Sunrise “Trees for Charity”, resulting in over $12,653 donated funds for our Spay & Neuter Program.
Our Ourtreach Program continues to educate thousands on the importance of treating their animals humanely and advocating spaying and neutering of pets.
“Paws To Care” Cookbook, Created by volunteers with their recipes, photos and illustrations raised $2400 to date with 300 cookbooks sold.
2nd Annual “Divot/Cricket” Memorial Golf Tournament at the Madera Municipal Golf Course raised $5,240.
Our Petfinder Group has increased team members, purchased a new camera and T-shirts. Resulting in more dogs, cats and even horses being adopted or rescued through the Petfinder web site portal, with a 75-80% success rate and going to over 21 different web sites.
This year alone 7,280 animals have been transported to Veterinarians for Surgery, to Super Adoptions, to PetsMart and Petco in our transport vehicle by FMAS Volunteers.
Medications are continually purchased to help the thousands of sick and injured animals that are brought to the shelter, which cost over $8,028 for 2009.
Odd Fellows & Rebekahs Pancake Breakfast proceeds in July were donated, totaling $1,200.
PetsMart adoptions over the last 5 years = 3,153. With the year 2009 having 195 Dogs and 554 Cats all transported, fostered and socialized by FMAS Volunteers, ensuring these adoptions.
Our Low Cost Spay and Neuter Program has helped those with financial difficulties and altered a total of 1068 Animals this year at a cost of $60,700, with a total of $187,000 since its inception.
Tax inserts raised $4,123 in 2009 to add to our Spay and Neuter Program.
“Low Cost Vaccination Clinic” held 1st Saturday of each month at the Adoption Center, resulted in over 1000 Rabies vaccinations, 500 additional Licenses and improved the health of our communities pet population.
We participated again in Super Adoption where over 250 Pets found homes, 36 from our shelter in 2009 (215 dogs + 15 cats) of our community’s pet population.
Download the whole 2009 Factsheet
By DJ Becker / NewsMadera.com
Another young, once healthy dog was found starving and near death along a roadside in Madera County. The weak and flea infested Dalmatian dog was barely able to stand and walk, and had many open, bloody scrapes and sores. His backbone and hip bones protruded alarmingly through his gaunt skin.
The frightened animal, a four-year old male was reported by a resident on Road 29 near the canal, according to Kirsten Gross, director of Madera County Animal Services. The dog has been named Einstein by shelter staff.
“The man had seen it running loose and terrified, and he had been trying to catch it for at least a week or more, before he called us. It’s about 30 pounds under weight and in very poor condition. It would have likely died within a day or two, without medical treatment, and clean water and food,” Gross said.
The dog was placed into a foster home with the volunteer group The Friends of the Madera Animal Shelter (FMAS) to provide it with individual supportive care and a safe space to recover and re cooperate.
Gross said the purebred dog was still struggling with intestinal problems and a serious middle ear infection in both ears but was eating and now in fairly stable condition. She said the dog will likely need additional weeks of treatment to recover from the severe emaciation and other medical conditions caused by the ongoing malnourishment.
“The non profit FMAS group raises money to provide emergency veterinary care and medications to animals in need. We also rely on donations of canned pet foods, and other dry foods to help our sick and injured animals,” said Gross.
According to Gross, the dog was neutered and friendly, and was likely a family pet not too long ago. It was unknown how the dog ended up running loose on Road 29, near the canal. Anyone missing the dog, or recognizing him should contact the animal shelter.
“No lost reports have been filed. Nobody that we know of is looking for him. He was likely dumped somewhere out in the county to fend for himself many weeks ago, when the owners no longer wanted him. Domestic animals are unfamiliar with foraging and most suffer, and are unable to survive long without human care,” Gross said.
Abandoning an animal is against the law and is also animal cruelty according to Gross.
“Please don’t dump your unwanted pets or other animals on roadsides. It’s a death sentence for them. They are terrified. They suffer like this one – or die slowly of starvation or dehydration. They get hit by cars, or get attacked, injured and killed by coyotes. There are a lot of ways to find another appropriate homes for your pet – ask your friends and neighbors. List them in the newspaper or on Craig’s List, and then screen the applicants. Bring it to the animal shelter. Please don’t abandon it to die in an orchard or along a roadside,” said Gross.
Gross said the shelter could also use donations of canned and bagged food for puppies and dogs to assist with the ongoing efforts of the volunteers and foster homes. Canned cat food is also always in need. New volunteers and additional foster homes for homeless puppies and kittens are always welcome.
If Einstein survives he will be placed up for adoption. Donations for Einstein, and the care of other sick or injured homeless animals can be sent to The Friends of Madera County Animal Shelter at PO Box 923, Madera, 93639.
Editors note : Einstein recovered and he was sent to an out of area rescue group when no one came forward locally to adopt him.