Grant ID: 1424
Title of Proposal: Community Cats TNR Program
Agency Type: Non-Profit
Total Funding Requested: $25,000.00
Check Payable To: Sheltering Hands, Inc.
Application Information
Name of Applicant Agency: Sheltering Hands, Inc. Website Address:
Person Submitting Proposal: Kathleen Fleck Position: DVM, medical director
Person Submitting Proposal Email Address:
Agency Head: Mary Flickinger Agency Head Email:
Organization Business Address: PO Box 843 City: Williston
State: FL Zip: 32696
Phone (xxx-xxx-xxxx): 352-817-0663 Fax:
Cell: 352-817-1752    
Agency Details

Date of 501(c)(3) Incorporation:
Dates of Last Fiscal Year: Begin: 04/01/12    End: 03/31/13
Organization Income in Last Fiscal Year: $143,562.00
Organization Expenses in Last Fiscal Year: $133,276.00
Number of Paid Employees: Full Time: 0  Part Time: 1
Number of Active Volunteers: 30
Total Volunteer Hours per Week: 400.00
How did you learn of the 2009  Florida Animal Friend grant competition? previous recipient
Year(s) of previous Florida Animal Friend grants (if applicable):
Previous Florida Animal Friend Applications: Years Funded: 2009 & 2012 Year(s) denied/incomplete: 2011
Auto-Generated (Previous Applications):
Grant #Proposal YearProposal TitleStatus
1112009Levy County TNR and Low Income Spay/Neuter ProgramFunded
2142011Community Cat CooperativeDenied
3262012Community Cats ProgramFunded
14242014Community Cats TNR ProgramFunded
16632016Community Cats Program TNRFunded
17772018Community Cats Spay/NeuterSubmitted
Describe your Organization:
Services Provided Organization Structure:

List your current board of directors:

Bronwyn BellSecretary352-347-2051retired
Carolyn Kerisdirector352-861-9170retired
Debbie Wabbersenvice president352-429-9521police officer
Gina Eversdirector352-622-8867retired educator
Kathleen Flecktreasurer352-817-1752veterinarian
Mary Flickingerpresident352-472-1338city recorder
Maryetta Fisherdirector352-291-0033retired
Susie Frommdirector at large352-843-2576veterinarian

Applicant Qualifications
For your organization, in the last complete fiscal year:
220  cats and 1  dogs were admitted.
190   cats and  0   dogs were adopted.
34   cats and  0    dogs were euthanized.
182   cats and  1    dogs were sterilized.
Briefly describe your animal programs:

If your program performs adoptions, are all animals sterilized before adoption? 
If not all, what percentage of animals are not currently sterilized before adoption? 
If not all, how are animals selected for sterilization before adoption? 
If not all, describe your sterilization policies and procedures for assuring sterilization after adoption:
Give additional background information on your organization's programs as they relate to this application and the qualifications of the personnel who will be in charge of this program. Show that you have the ability to carry out this program. 
Sheltering Hands has been involved with spay/neuter services for stray and feral cat populations since being founded in 2007. Initially the program involved colonies in a small area of Levy county. A total of 800 cats have been done at that site and we continue to provide services for the occasional cats being abandoned in that area. Initial efforts involved utilization of a mobile veterinary unit but since January 2012 the efforts have expanded into Marion County and are been done through our own dedicated surgical facility. Since January 2012 a total of 2250 homeless cats have been sterilized. We have been fortunate to maintain a strong support of the veterinary community and have 2 veterinarians on our board. Board member, treasurer and past president, Kathleen Fleck, DVM acts as the program medical director. She has 35 years experience with spay/neuter programs, operated her own veterinary clinic for 20 years, is a member of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians and HSVMA and conducts the 2-hour monthly colony caregiver workshops to educate the public about the TNR program. Part time employee, Susan Nastav acts as the colony caregiver liaison and coordinates surgery scheduling. She has 20 years of experience as a veterinary assistant and although considered a part time employee she donates many more hours working the surgical days as head technician and in assisting with educating the public and caregivers of our program and the importance of TNR. The program also has a strong following of volunteers including veterinary surgeons willing to give of their time to help the plight of homeless cats in both Marion and Levy counties.
If you currently have a program for sterilization of cats and/or dogs, describe your current level of funding and productivity and why additional resources are needed? 
The Sheltering Hands Community Cats surgical unit is a year round program providing 3 surgical days per month and conducting an average of 1000 surgeries/year. The limiting factor over the last year has become funding as income from our fund raising efforts has decreased with the depressed economy. The demand for the program is actually increasing and so in order to meet more of the local need we are seeking additional resources.

Target Population
Geographical target area (name of city, county, zip codes, geographical Information service (GIS), etc.):
Ocala, Florida 
Total human population in target area: 56,945 
Percent of residents living below poverty in target area: 18 
Estimated number of pet cats in target area (human population divided by 3.3): 17257 
Estimated number of pet dogs in target area (human population divided by 4.0): 14237 
Estimated number of feral cats in target area (human population divided by 6.0): 9491 
Number of cats admitted to animal control shelters in the target area last year (if known) unknown 
Number of dogs admitted to animal control shelters in the target area last year (if known) unknown 
Number of cats euthanized in animal control shelters in the target area last year (if known) unknown 
Number of dogs euthanized in animal control shelters in the target area last year (if known) unknown 
Please explain if you believe your target area animal population is significantly different than above.
We believe the number of “free roaming “ cats to be higher than population based estimates for feral cats. In our experience there seems to be a high percentage of stray but not necessarily feral cats in the colonies within the target area. Many of these cats may have at one time been pet cats. Economic down turns in the last few years have led to increased abandonment of kittens and non-sterilized adult cats that have greatly increased the overall stray populations. We believe the number of “community cats” to be nearly equal to the pet cat population. Using the estimated numbers this would bring the estimated target cat population closer to 15,000
Please explain what you believe are the most substantial sources of dog and cat overpopulation in the target area:
 Most of the overpopulation occurs due to lack of responsible pet ownership and the abandonment issues associated with socioeconomic factors in the area. This is especially true of the cat populations who are often treated as disposable pets versus treasured family members. Many owners allow their cats to roam without having been spayed or neutered thus producing large numbers of unwanted kittens. The same situation occurs for the dogs but a little less so due to more restricted county ordinances with “dangerous dogs” and also increased regulation management of licensing for dogs than cats.
What kinds of spay/neuter services are currently available in the target area and in what ways are these resources currently insufficient to meet community needs?
Currently Marion County does have a “Neuter Commuter” unit for spay and neuter of dogs and cats in Marion county. Although helpful the program does not do stray/feral cat populations, is limited to 2 animals per owner yearly and appointments can take months to be scheduled. Several local veterinary clinics will do stray cats but not generally at reduced rates making it financially difficult for most people to individually keep their populations under control.
Florida Animal Friend is highly supportive of proposals that are focused on animal populations that are identified as substantial sources of dog or cat overpopulation rather than being diluted over too broad of a geographic area or diverse animal populations. Describe the specific target animal population of the spay/neuter project proposed for this grant:

TNR Managed Colony Feral Cat Program/Community Cats (Free-Roaming and/or Owned) Program
Define the precise boundaries of the colony or targeted area, including estimate of square miles.
.Addresses within the city of Ocala in Marion County, FL approx. 38.6 sq miles
What is the criteria used for determining the target area(s) and/or eligibility for this program?
All cats being done through the Sheltering Hands Community Cats Program are part of a managed colony approach. Caregivers feeding 2 or more homeless cats submit a registration application and attend a 2-hour workshop in order to be eligible for services. Registrations are renewed annually to continue service eligibility. The area of Ocala has been chosen due to an above average percentage of homeless cats within the city compared to other cities within the county. There are multiple commercia
Describe whether the targeted area is rural, suburban, or urban. Is it commercial, residential, agricultural, or a designated special land use?
The area is primarily suburban with both commercial and residential land use.
Estimated number of cats in the target colony area : 15000  
Estimated number that are currently sterilized: 2500
Projected reduction after utilizing the grant:  1000
For TNR program, describe the ability to maintain lifelong care for remaining cats, commitment level of volunteers/organizations, etc.
Sheltering Hands, Inc. has made the Community Cats Program a mission priority. All board members are very supportive of the program and we are finding that the number of volunteers becoming involved has greatly increased because of the program priority. Colony caregivers are already committed to the cats in their care and are providing shelter and food in addition to managing their welfare. In our registrations we encourage the use of alternate caregivers to provide back up in case the primar
Do current city/county ordinances address TNR or free-roaming cats?

Please explain what is allowed:

(NOTE: FAF will not fund any program this is inconsistent with local ordinances.)
For TNR program, list any groups or government agencies who support this TNR effort:
The Sheltering Hands Community Cats program is supported by the Marion County commissioners, Marion County Animal Services, Humane Society of Marion County , Best Friends and is a part of the Alley Cat Allies Feral Friends Network.
Describe any effort to lessen the negative impact on local wildlife.
Because colonies are registered with Sheltering Hands we are able to make sure colonies are not being managed in sensitive wildlife areas and are relocated to safer areas when cats are discovered to be populating such areas.
Describe efforts that will be made to mitigate current or potential nuisance issues.
A network of trained volunteers is in place to work with caregivers and county officials and neighbors when nuisance issues arise. We have an excellent working relationship with the Marion County Animal Services director and staff to identify and address the complaint issues in a timely manner to effect good outcome for both the cats and the complainer. Use of management changes, fencing, motion activated deterrents, car covers etc are all utilized. In the 2-hour caregiver workshop required f
Will the cats be ear-tipped? Yes
Will the cats be microchipped? Yes
Provide any additional information that will help the grant selection committee understand how this program will operate to achieve its goals.
This program "has been a godsend to many cats and caregivers in our community". It is a well organized and managed program that strives to make a difference for the community and has the support of local government and businesses. The commitment of the volunteers, board and donors is evident in all aspects of the program
What do you hope to accomplish with these funds (objectives should be specific and quantifiable)?
Our annual goal surgical volume is a minimum of 750 cats. With support of the grant funding we can nearly double our annual goal and increase our current achieved volume of 1000 cats by 25%.
How does this program increase the number of sterilization surgeries above the existing baseline?
Because the Sheltering Hands Community Cats program is the only organized program addressing the sterilization of homeless cats in the county, it is the existing baseline. This program is expandable only by having more available funds to be able to provide more surgeries. The funding from this grant program makes this possible
What criteria will you use to determine eligibility for your program? 
All cats being done through the Sheltering Hands Community Cats Program are part of a managed colony approach. Caregivers feeding 2 or more homeless cats submit a registration application and attend a 2-hour workshop in order to be eligible for services. Registrations are renewed annually to continue service eligibility
How will you advertise the program? Explain how the advertising will reach the target audience.
Advertising is primarily through referrals and information available on our website and Facebook pages. Referrals are from veterinary clinics, feed stores, other animal rescues, county health and animal services departments as well as from caregivers who are involved with the program. The target audience is already accessing these sources and so word of mouth is also a powerful way to advertise the program for little to no cost. We take advantage of any opportunity to utilize newspaper and other print advertising.
How will you address barriers to full use of the program such as transportation, illiteracy, and cultural hurdles? 
Transportation and information transfer protocols are already in place to help make sure that all persons needing the TNR services will be provided access. A van belonging to Sheltering Hands and bilingual volunteers are available to overcome any obstacles.
Does this project involve the transportation of animals by someone other than the client? If so, describe the vehicles, methods for confinement, personnel training, liability releases used to assure the safety of the animals and handlers.
Most of the cats are transported by the colony caregivers. When necessary an enclosed 2009 Dodge minivan can transport up to 30 traps. All cats are required to be in a humane trap when being brought to the surgical center. All caregivers sign a liability waiver with their registration application and a surgical liability waiver at the time of surgery. Volunteers doing transports are experienced in handling humane traps and feral cats.
Veterinary Services

What arrangements have you made with veterinarians to perform the surgeries? 
2 veterinarians are a part of the Sheltering Hands Board and other veterinarians volunteer time on surgery days. In addition to local practitioners and retired veterinarians there are opportunities for qualified veterinary students to volunteer.
Are they:  

Veterinary Practices
Practice NameAddressCityStateZipPhoneLead Practice
Sheltering Hands Community Cats Program10699 SW 105th AveOcalaFL34481352-509-5228

Fee Range
What is the fee range to be paid for spay and neuter and what is the distribution to be paid by the client vs. the grant program? Keep in mind that Florida Animal Friend grant funds may only be used for costs directly associated with sterilization surgery (including anesthesia and pain control) and not for other items such as vaccines, testing, licensing, and capital purchases.
Amount Paid by Client Amount Paid by Project Total Amount
Range for Male Cats
Range for Female Cats
Range for Male Dogs
Range for Female Dogs
Please check each item below to indicate additional services offered at the time of surgery, whether the client is required to pay for them, and if so what the fee is. For example, if an examination is required for surgery but is not charged to the client it would be marked: Required  Yes, Fee to client No
Required, Optional, or Not Offered Fee to Client?
Rabies Vaccination if Due   
Other Vaccination if Due   
Pain Medication   
Parasite Medication   
HW Testing   
Feline Leuk/FIV
County License   
Ear tipping   

None of the anticipated grant funds can be used for any of the above services, except for pain medication.
If necessary, please explain the procedures and fees described above: 
Each cat coming through the surgical center receives sterilization surgery including pain management, ear tipping, microchip, rabies and FVRCP vaccinations, flea and ear mite treatments. Caregivers are charged $10.00/cat to help cover costs of microchips and vaccines but if unable to pay due to financial constraints we utilize colony sponsorships to fund those colonies.  
Is this a voucher program? No
If so, how will you assure compliance with the program?

For your voucher program, how have you determined the capacity of the veterinarians listed above to handle the projected capacity?
Will you have the ability to report the number of vouchers issued and the percentage that result in S/N surgeries?

Community Collaboration
To assure the success of your program, are there any local groups (such as rescue groups, animal control agencies, TNR groups, local businesses, local media, social service agencies,etc.) other than your organization and your cooperating veterinarians who are committed to assist?
Please list them and detail their level of involvement with the proposed effort.
NameLevel of Involvement
Commercial property ownersMultiple commercial supporters including bank, realtor, Restaurant, medical & Warehouse businesses that permit and financially support colonies on their property
EARS, Inc./Mary Roberts familyProvide a rent free facility for our surgical center
Humane Society of Marion CountyReferral for colonies in need and assistance with supplying food to colonies
Marion County Animal ServicesReferral and assistance in return of TNR cats brought to their shelter. Also work with our program for mediation with neighbors To help keep cats in their colonies

Other Information
Provide any additional information that will help the grant selection committee understand how the program will operate to achieve its goals.
 To make sure we can continue to provide services to the colonies in our community we established a dedicated spay/neuter surgical center. This center helps us to control costs, is operated by a dedicated volunteer team under the direct supervision of Dr. Kathleen Fleck and is fully supported by the members and Board of Sheltering Hands.
Total number of sterilization surgeries projected:
Cats: 750    Dogs:  0 
Total budget requested (Budget should not exceed $25,000): $25,000.00 
Average cost/surgery projected: $34.00 
Describe any expenses that are not included in the grant and how they will be paid for (for example, vaccines, microchipping, ear notching, etc.):
.): A fee of $10.00/cat is assessed to the caregiver to cover costs of vaccines & microchips and is paid at time of surgery. There are sponsors supplied for those caregivers not financially able to pay their fee.
Describe any other funding sources for this program, i.e. other grants, targeted fundraising efforts, budget allocation, etc.
. No other grants are currently being utilized but in the past the program has been assisted with a Petsmart Charities grant. In addition there are 2 special event fundraisers annually and multiple small projects conducted to raise funds for the Community Cats TNR program specifically. Business and personal sponsorships are regularly sought as well.
What percent of the total cost of the program would this projected grant cover?
All projects must be completed within 12 months of receipt of funding.
Projected start date: 08/01/14/     Projected end date: 07/31/15
Unexpended funds
Any unexpended funds must be refunded to Florida Animal Friend within 30 days of the end of the project.

Requests for extensions
Requests for time extensions are discouraged and not often granted. If it is imperative to request an extension, such request must be made in writing at least 30 days prior to the end of the project. It is FAF’s policy to seldom grant more than a 30-60 day extension.

Failure to submit reports and requests within the required time period will impact your agency’s future grant applications.
Future Funding to Sustain Public Spay/Neuter
*Explain how the organization plans to fund this program in the future. Having sustainable plans including other grants, local donations and other services generating revenue enhances the chances of receiving this grant.
The Community Cats Program is an ongoing mission of Sheltering Hands and as such receives funds generated through 2 annual special events and multiple ongoing fundraisers such as book sales, bake sales and boutique sales. Regular donors are encouraged to support the TNR program and both sponsorship and endowment programs are available for future funding. Grants such as this one, Best Friends, Petsmart Charities and others are applied for to help supplement and increase the program efforts.
Promotion of Florida Animal Friend Spay/Neuter License Plate
*Applicants selected for funding are expected to publicize their grant in support of their spay/neuter program and promote the sale of the Animal Friend license plate via press releases, newsletters, website links, social media, etc. Please describe your plan to promote the Florida Animal Friend Spay/Neuter License Plate. Grantees are required to submit documentation of promotional endeavors with their final report.
Since we have received previous awarded funding we continue to provide information brochures for the specialty plate at our surgical center, with our adoption packets, in our quarterly newsletters and at our monthly caregiver workshop presentations. In addition we provide a link on our website and Facebook pages