CSTAR Animal Care
CSTAR's Spay Our Strays Clinic
About CSTAR Animal Care And The Spay Our Strays Clinic
CSTAR Animal Care is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was started in 2012 in an effort to expand the animal welfare services offered to local communities. CSTAR's primary areas of focus are low-cost spay/neuter and TNR education and services through its Spay Our Strays Clinic program.
Center For Spay/Neuter, TNR, Adoption, And Rescue
In addition to providing low-cost spay/neuter, vaccinations, and other vital veterinary services, CSTAR works with many local municipalities, animal shelters, rescues, and other animal welfare groups, promoting adoptions and providing education/information on many topics such as how to fix/cope with stray and feral cats, Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs and traps, how to get rid of fleas, how to introduce new pets, the benefits of spay/neuter surgery, and the importance of veterinary wellness care.
CSTAR's Vision And Mission Statements
CSTAR's Vision
An environment where euthanasia is no longer used, or even deemed necessary, to manage the size of the region's feline and canine population, and where cats and dogs no longer suffer and die from untreated or preventable diseases, illnesses, and injuries.
CSTAR's Mission
To end the needless suffering and avoidable deaths of cats and dogs, in Southern NJ and the surrounding areas, by providing affordable, high-quality veterinary services and effective, non-lethal alternatives to euthanasia, centered around low-cost spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, and education.
CSTAR's Spay Our Stray Clinic - History And Stats
The Spay Our Strays Clinic program was started in 2007 and was initially offered through Camden County Animal Shelter to residents of Camden County only. From 2007 through 2012, more than 6,500 cats were fixed in just 56 clinics, reaching more than 2,500 different caregivers, and fixing an average of 125 cats per clinic. But, this just wasn't enough for the clinic volunteers because there were still so many people in neighboring communities that also needed these low-cost services.
So, in 2013, the entire Spay Our Strays Clinic program moved to CSTAR Animal Care. The clinic continues to be led by its original founder and coordinator and is still staffed by many of the same volunteers, veterinary technicians, and veterinarians who have been providing clinic caregivers with the highest quality of service for years. These dedicated, hard-working members of CSTAR Animal Care, along with some new additions to our clinic program, have enabled us to grow the clinic program into the success it is today.
Since becoming a part of CSTAR Animal Care, the Spay Our Strays Clinic Program has been expanded to include all residents, rather than being limited to residents of just one county. While our primary target areas are our surrounding communities of Gloucester, Burlington, and Camden counties, CSTAR's low-cost clinic services have been utilized by caregivers from all different parts of Northern, Central, and Southern New Jersey, as well as by residents of neighboring states.
During the clinic's first year with CSTAR Animal Care, almost 1,200 more cats were fixed and almost 400 more caregivers were helped. Additionally, during this first year, CSTAR significantly expanded the list of services offered at the clinics. Feline leukemia vaccinations for cats and nail trimming lessons for caregivers (so they have an easy and safe alternative to declawing to maintain their cats' nails) were added to the services list. And, services for dogs were also incorporated into the previously "cat only" clinics, including 5 different vaccinations, heartworm and lyme disease testing, microchipping, and more.
In 2014, CSTAR doubled the number of clinics offered with the incorporation of monthly vaccine clinics, which quickly evolved into mini spay/neuter clinics as CSTAR expanded its services once again to now include canine spay/neuter surgery. By the end of 2014, 3,000 appointments and 31 clinics later, CSTAR had provided low-cost veterinary services for over 2,600 cats and dogs, including the 2,191 cats and dogs that were spayed or neutered at the clinic since it moved to CSTAR in 2013. Around 400 of those appointments were follow-up services such as booster vaccinations for animals that had been to see us in the past, but the other 2,600 were first-time patients, many of whom had never been to a veterinarian and would not have otherwise been able to receive these services, because their caregivers could not afford the usual cost of spay/neuter surgery and vaccinations.
At the end of 2015, after the conclusion of CSTAR's third year of Spay Our Strays Clinics, CSTAR had provided low-cost veterinary services for 3,952 cats and dogs, including the 3,084 cats and 105 dogs that had now been spayed or neutered at the clinic since it moved to CSTAR in 2013. Through more than 4,700 appointments in just 51 clinics, we helped more than 1,100 caregivers provide high-quality, low-cost, essential veterinary services for their pets, newly adopted/rescued stray cats, and free-roaming cat colonies.
And, since the last mega clinic at the end of November 2016, through more than 6,771 appointments in just 68 clinics, CSTAR has helped almost 1,500 caregivers provide high-quality, low-cost, essential veterinary services for their pets, newly adopted/rescued stray cats, and free-roaming cat colonies. Additionally, CSTAR has provided low-cost veterinary services for 5,204 cats and dogs, including the 4,020 cats and 154 dogs that were spayed/neutered at the clinic since the program moved to CSTAR in 2013. That means over the last 9 years, a total of 10,522 cats have been spayed/neutered at the Spay Our Strays Clinic.
CSTAR's Role In Local TNR Efforts
CSTAR Animal care has played a major role in TNR efforts in the community through education and by providing affordable spay/neuter services. Almost 75% of the 10,522 cats that have been sterilized at the Spay Our Strays Clinic since the program began were stray or feral cats. And while stray and feral cats are large contributors to the current overpopulation problem, unsterilized pets that are indoor/outdoor cats, indoor females that have an increased urge to get outside while in heat, and unaltered males and females living indoors together also play a major role. Remember, cats don't care if they are related when it comes to mating.
Cats can begin mating as early as 4 months old, and therefore can have their first litter of kittens when they are just 6 months old. Females can begin going into heat again a few weeks after giving birth, and have an average of 2-3 litters each year, of up to 10 kittens per litter. Even if you estimate using minimal numbers (starting with just 1 male cat and 1 female cat, with just 2 kittens born and surviving into adulthood per litter, and you say the female has just 1 litter per year instead of the normal 2-3), those 2 cats and their litters multiply into 18 cats in 2 years, 54 cats in 3 years, and over 4,000 in 7 years.
In the table below, you'll see how that compares, and how dramatic the increase is, when you calculate the totals using the typical 2 litters per year per female and the commonly accepted average of 2.8 kittens per litter.
Then, look at how many cats would have been born if the 10,522 cats hadn't been fixed at the Spay Our Strays Clinic. More than 20,000 cats could have been born in the first year alone!
How many cats if we . . . Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7
Start with 1 female + 1 male
2 kittens survive per litter
1 litter per year
6 18 54 162 486 1,458 4,374
Start with 1 female + 1 male
2 kittens survive per litter
2 litters per year
8 32 128 512 2,048 8,192 32,768
Start with 1 female + 1 male
2.8 kittens survive per litter
1 litter per year
9 38 166 723 3,151 13,739 59,902
Start with 1 female + 1 male
2.8 kittens survive per litter
2 litters per year
12 66 382 2,202 12,681 73,041 420,717
 
Start with 5,261 females + 5,261 males
(= 10,522 cats fixed at SOS thru Nov 2016)
2 kittens survive per litter
1 litter per year
31,566 94,698 284,094 852,282 2,556,846 7,670,538 23,011,614
Either 1 litter or 2 litters per year per female cat are used in the calculations as indicated in each row. For rows with 2 litters per year per female cat (for example, 1 litter born in April and 1 litter born in September), since kittens start mating at 4 months old, in addition to both of these litters, we also include 1 litter for each of the females born in the first litter (in our example, the April litter). If the kittens are born in April, they could start mating in August, and would then give birth in October, so they most likely would have a litter during the same year that they were born. Calculations are based on half of the kittens that are born in each litter being female and the other half being male.

This table doesn't account for cats leaving the colony and/or no longer reproducing because of death, TNR, relocation, adoption, etc. The average lifespan of colony cats varies greatly, usually anywhere between 3 and 10 years, largely depending on the type of environment they live in (whether they are near roads/thoroughfares, an abundance of predatory wildlife, bad weather conditions, large numbers of other free-roaming cats, food and water sources, etc.)

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