HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) announces that the Animal Population Control Program (APCP) has received record response for their programs to reduce pet overpopulation. A change in statute now allows up to 20% (increased from 10%) of the yearly APCP income to be made available for the feral cat grant program, which assists Connecticut non-profit rescue groups with the sterilization and vaccination of feral cats.
Established in 1995, APCP has provided benefits to more than 250,000 animals and is funded by an annual surcharge on Connecticut dog licenses, the $45.00 adoption fee, proceeds from the sale of the “Caring for Pets” commemorative license plates, and donations.
In fiscal year 2023, CT DoAg has received and issued a record number of applications from feral cat organizations for the feral cat grant program. More than 1,700 voucher requests were received with 1,480 vouchers issued for fiscal year 2023, up from 780 in fiscal year 2022. Since 2007, the APCP has averaged a 98% compliance rate for benefits issued through Connecticut non-profit organizations for feral cats.
Joan Lamont, Founder/President at C.A.T.S. Northeast, Inc. in North Windham has experienced the results of the feral cat program come full circle in her role at the rescue, as well as running a spay and neuter clinic, and as animal control officer for Windham. She shared, “It’s a great program and when utilized properly to spay and neuter an entire feral cat colony, the animals will no longer reproduce, helping to stop a rising cat overpopulation. We are already seeing a decreased need for vouchers in our area thanks to this program.”
“There is a demonstrated demand for the resources provided by the Animal Population Control Program, and this is an example of how a legislative proposal sought by the agency to make a difference is doing just that,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with residents, non-profits, and participating veterinarians to reduce pet overpopulation and ensure animal health is maintained.”
The Animal Population Control Program also announces that the Low-Income Pet Sterilization Program has issued all available funds and will be closed for the remainder of the current fiscal year. This program helps CT residents to vaccinate and sterilize their pets using a participating Connecticut veterinary practice. To be eligible for benefits, recipients must be a Connecticut resident and on one of six public assistance programs outlined in C.G.S. Sec. 22-380e and approved by Department of Social Services. The Low-Income Pet Sterilization Program will reopen on November 1, 2023.
For program status updates, please visit our website: www.ct.gov/doag/apcp.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture mission is to foster a healthy economic, environmental, and social climate for agriculture by developing, promoting, and regulating agricultural businesses; protecting agricultural and aquacultural resources; enforcing laws pertaining to domestic animals; and promoting an understanding among the state’s citizens of the diversity of Connecticut agriculture, its cultural heritage, and its contribution to the state’s economy. For more information, visit www.CTGrown.gov.
–Connecticut Department of Agriculture