Xeno Causes: PAWS Chicago
For our 20th anniversary, throughout 2017, Xeno Media is implementing Xeno Causes. Each staff member chooses a charity near and dear to them and Xeno Media:
- Makes a cash donation to the charity
- Publicizes the charity through our blog and social media
Our July Xeno Cause is PAWS Chicago as selected by Jim Birch.
In their words:
Since it's inception in 1997, PAWS Chicago has made it's mission to strive for a No Kill Chicago. That year, almost 50,000 homeless cats and dogs were killed by the city of Chicago, and private facilities within the city. Since then, PAWS Chicago has worked with the city to rescue and transfer adoptable animals out of the city shelter, and have helped lower that number by 80%.
Homeless pets in our shelters, and on our streets and alleys is a problem caused by humans. PAWS Chicago knows this and has various community outreach programs to help educate pet owners about available low-cost programs, fighting animal cruelty, and supporting Trap Neuter Return (TNR) volunteers.
Trap Neuter Return, or TNR, is where members of the community who find outdoor feral (wild) cats, trap them, and bring them into a low cost clinic to get spayed an neutered. After a brief recovery, they are released back where they were found to live out their lives and not reproduce. TNR is the most humane and effective way to deal with the outdoor feral cat problem
Why Jim supports PAWS Chicago:
I am proud to support PAWS Chicago in their efforts to work with the city, the county, the state and the community to help make Chicago a No Kill City.
In 2004, a house on our street on the near north side of Chicago was torn down. We learned later that an elderly woman lived in this house her whole life, and had many cats. Chicago Animal Care and Control tried to trap as many as they could, but with only a few officers for the whole city of Chicago, they did not catch them all, and the rest of the cats dispersed in the neighborhood.
As we noticed, we started looking into solutions. The city did not have services to come and get these cats, and they were not friendly, and thus not adoptable.
My partner Vanessa learned about TNR through Alley Cat Allies, and started renting traps, and taking advantage of PAWS Chicago's low cost clinic for spay and neuter services. A total of 183 cats were TNR’d within one square mile of our neighborhood since 2007. As of 2016, 51 of those cats remain outside at 20 colony sites where they are fed and sheltered. Outdoor cat population decreased at all of the locations. You can read more at Cats in My Yard.
PAWS Chicago is a great organization to support as they support the homeless cats and dogs, feral/community cats, and those volunteering their own time to help.