At VOCAL, our mission is to solve the homeless pet problem through prevention, community outreach, adoption and collaboration.
If that sounds like a big mission, you are right, it is, especially when you consider that Marion County, Florida has an estimated 40,000 unsterilized cats and dogs. Without aggressive intervention through targeted spay-neuter programs, they will only continue to reproduce and add to the homeless pet population. Through our Community Clinic & Resource Center, we provide both low-cost and often no cost spay-neuter services to public clients, community caregivers, and partner rescue organizations.
While the heart of our mission will always be the animals we serve, we also recognize that there are many families who love their pets deeply but are unable to provide care for their pets. Our outreach programs focus on reducing intake into our local shelters and rescues by providing resources and connecting with these families to improve both the lives of the people and their pets.
We believe that keeping pets in loving homes is a multifaceted approach. Through our Project FEED program, we provide food assistance for over 3,000 animals in our local Marion County community. At our Community Clinic, we offer vaccines, routine procedures, and life-saving surgery, all at an affordable cost. Through our TNR (trap-neuter-return) program, we offer assistance to caregivers of feral cats in order to control the homeless cat population while keeping community cats safe, healthy, and thriving.
When no other option is feasible or desirable, and as space allows, we take in at-risk pets into our foster and adoption program. Once they come in, they are safe, fed, vetted and loved. We look for the perfect match for every animal we adopt out. Each year we take in a few hundred animals, mostly pulling directly from our county facility and often receiving motherless neonatal kittens through our TNR program.
Working hand-in-hand with other animal welfare groups and like-minded shelters is part of the solution. We believe in working together for the benefit of the animals and people we serve. Our Rescue Food program provides food, litter, and other pet items to around 100 other non-profit rescues and shelters across Florida and Georgia. Our Community Clinic works hand-in-hand with other rescue organizations to provide services for rescued cats and dogs awaiting their new homes, as well as providing additional veterinary services to the public through grants and donations.