The Companion Animal Assistance Program, CAAP, might not be as well-known as some other nonprofit organizations, but this small group has contributed in a big way to local pet owners and the City of Stillwater. Long-time member Laura Gann answers our questions.
1. What is CAAP?
CAAP is a local non-profit organization that is small in size but has a big impact.
Since it got started in 2002, CAAP has made it financially possible for 12,500 dogs and cats in Stillwater and Payne County to be spayed or neutered. Preventing litters of unwanted kittens and puppies reduces the numbers of homeless animals that often end up abandoned or in shelters.
2. How does CAAP benefit the City of Stillwater?
Preventing reproduction reduces the numbers of dogs and cats that Animal Welfare and the Humane Society need to take in and rehome. In 2005, CAAP realized that many animals at Stillwater Animal Welfare were being adopted out intact and able to reproduce. CAAP applied for local grants and worked to make sure that every pet adopted from Animal Welfare is spayed or neutered before adoption.
The OSU School of Veterinary Medicine helps with many procedures, but when animals cannot be scheduled there, CAAP pays the cost of having the procedures done by local veterinarians because it is not covered by the City. In the last 14 years, this amounted to 3,200 dogs and cats at a cost of $110,000 – quite a contribution to Stillwater from a small, local non-profit.
3. How does CAAP help individual pet owners?
CAAP offers financial assistance to people who otherwise would not be able to spay and neuter their pets. Many local veterinary clinics have agreed to work with CAAP, the pet owners pay a portion, and CAAP pays the difference.
Of the 12,500 surgeries have been handled through CAAP over the years, roughly 9,500 of them were for the pets of local lower income individuals, families, and students. It would be interesting if it could be calculated how many unwanted litters of puppies and kittens CAAP has helped prevent.
4. How well does CAAP use its funds?
Because CAAP is operated completely by volunteers, overhead costs are kept to a minimum. Veterinary expenses average $50,000 a year while operating expenses are about $1,200 or 2%. That means 98 cents of every donated dollar goes directly to CAAP’s mission – an amazing accomplishment.
5. What is CAAP’s financial outlook?
The local foundations that helped support CAAP for so many years are depleted now. For CAAP to continue this important work, new sources of funding and donations need to be found. It is our hope that when more people learn about CAAP, they will want to help. See our website at caapok.org or find us on Facebook. Please call 405-547-5145 with questions or suggestions.