2020 was a year that brought unexpected trials, yet it also encouraged resiliency and proved the dedication of our caring staff and community. Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP) is proud to announce that through life-saving adoption and transfer programs and a lot of hard work, we have maintained a placement rate of over 92% for all homeless pets surrendered to our shelter in 2020. This is a wonderful follow-up to our 2019 placement rate of 91%.
In 2020, CAP provided care for 9,333 animals; this includes 3,979 animals that were surrendered by the public as well as thousands more that were transferred in from animal control agencies and rescue groups, animals already in the shelter and foster care program, feral cats trapped/neutered/returned and animals receiving vaccinations and other treatments in our low-cost vaccination clinic, The Cornelius Clinic. Of those surrendered to the shelter, 3,327 were adopted; 131 were reunited with their family; and 267 were transferred to rescue groups or transported.
The Cornelius Clinic, originally opened in 2018, provides affordable vaccinations and wellness care to the community and is the site of all spay/neuter procedures for shelter animals and feral cats. During its second year of operation in 2019, our clinic provided care for an outstanding 6,056 public-owned pets. When COVID-19 appeared, one of our primary goals was to provide a safe environment for our employees while continuing wellness services to the public. In order to meet this goal, we implemented curbside service by appointment only and still cared for 4,160 pets in 2020.
CAP volunteers are our inspiration and our partners in delivering love and a high standard of care to the thousands of animals that come to us. Each one of the dear four-legged creatures who come through our doors receives loving care and undivided attention thanks to an army of volunteers who worked closely with our dedicated staff in the shelter and clinic. In 2019, more than 450 individual volunteers donated 17,200 hours of their time, and group volunteers donated 3,460 hours of time. Despite reduced operational hours during the pandemic, more than 225 volunteers donated in excess of 8,200 combined hours in 2020.
Many of the animals who come through our shelter are in great need of medical care beyond basic wellness. With the medical support of the shelter veterinary and medical teams, the CAP Foster Program places needy pets with loving and trained foster parents. Foster parents provided TLC through heartworm treatments, previous injuries, respiratory infections, skin/eye/teeth issues, and raised unweaned kittens and puppies. Over 900 animals were saved by 169 CAP foster parents in 2020, totaling 51,477 hours of care.
Additional efforts to prevent the abandonment of animals include humane education and public outreach to the public, which allowed us to reach more than 13,000 households in the 2019/2020 fiscal year. We had the opportunity to engage 524 children, who read to the animals during Storytime; held 22 tours for over 300 students; partied with over 500 kids during 30 birthday parties; held 3 CAP Kid’s Club meetings with 87 participants; visited over 2,000 students at offsite schools, scout meetings and service organizations, and much more.
A vital program dedicated to reducing the feral cat overpopulation in the Greater Houston area is the CAP Feral Cat Assistance Program (FCAP) which provides and sponsors spay and neuter surgeries and vaccines for feral cats, and rents out traps to facilitate Trap-Neuter-Return services. CAP was one of the first feral cat assistance programs in the state of Texas and continues to lead the charge. In 2019, FCAP provided and sponsored 1,948 spay/neuter surgeries, and with many clinics being closed due to COVID-19, still sponsored 944 spay/neuter surgeries in 2020.
Shelter Director Jessica Ellis touchingly summarized this past year for CAP:
“It has been a long year, but with the amazing support of community volunteers and donors, our incredible transfer and transport partners, collaboration with other like-minded organizations, our wonderful staff, and sheer determination, it is awe-inspiring to know that we continue to make such a difference for the animals that enter our care, and for the people and pets in need of help in the surrounding counties. We are blessed to know and work with SO many people that share our passion to save the animals who need us most.”
We invite you to visit the CAP adoption center and see for yourself how people like you have made a difference. There are so many ways for you to help, and we would love to work side by side with you to fulfill our mission of caring for pets in need through sheltering, adoption, humane education, spay/neuter services, low-cost wellness and community outreach.