Big Sky Ranch/CATNIP Foundation

Big Sky Ranch/CATNIP (Care, Advocacy, and Treatment for Neglected and Indigent Pets) Foundation is an animal welfare organization with the goal of changing the ways we think and feel about living with and caring for animals. Our state ranks highest in the country in animal shelter deaths according to Shelter Animals Count, the best source of aggregated nationwide animal shelter data. Our programs demonstrate that there are more effective ways of dealing with pet overpopulation than are currently in place here, and we are leading Louisiana toward a no-kill legacy.

The number of animals we take in far exceeds reported state and national averages. We pull from municipal shelters animals at high risk for euthanasia and provide the medical care they need to become healthy, adoptable pets. We also provide low-cost spay/neuter to about 175 animals per week. In 2019, we placed 1,200 animals in loving homes through our adoption programs, which emphasize the placement of animals who might be deemed “unadoptable” at open admission shelters. Additionally, we have travelled 35,000 miles so far this year to transport animals to out-of-state rescue partner organizations who help them find loving, forever homes. As an affiliate of Rescue Bank, a program of GreaterGood.org, we distribute an average of 429,000 bowls of pet food per month to more than 40 rescue organizations throughout Louisiana and Mississippi.

We serve a region mired in systemic, generational poverty. There are vast resource deserts in these rural communities, with few health assets for people and no health support for animals. Working and low-income families in this multi-parish area have no access to low-cost veterinary care. Lack of access to affordable care coupled with the underlying poverty creates an environment in which spay/neuter awareness and basic preventive care are nearly completely absent. As a result, massive numbers of animals end up in shelters. Too many unwanted litters are born, and owners who can’t access or afford care for a sick or injured pet have no options beyond surrender.

After nearly eight years in the trenches of animal rescue, CATNIP Foundation understands the direct relationship between the lack of affordable care for animals and the high numbers who end up dying in shelters. Our shelter has outgrown its onsite clinic because there is such a demand for both basic and emergency medical care for animals. We are set to disrupt the status quo for animal welfare in Louisiana when we open a newly expanded low-cost spay/neuter and affordable care community clinic later this year. The clinic will be a game-changer for poor, rural communities, especially in the wake of the COVID crisis. With Louisiana’s hospitality and oil industries devastated, affordable care will be more important than ever to keeping animals out of shelters and healthy at home with the people who love them. A $5,000 prize awarded to Big Sky Ranch/CATNIP Foundation would help complete the clinic expansion and make low-cost care available to more people and animals.

Cast Your Vote for Big Sky Ranch/CATNIP Foundation

Voting is now closed for our 2020 #DoRight4LA contest. Our winner will be announced on our Facebook page on Monday, June 8th. Check back for our 2020 highlight and be sure to join us on #DoRight4LA Day!