VHS Receives One of Six National HSUS Mentorships

Nov 13, 2023

The Vanderburgh Humane Society leadership team is incredibly proud to share that they have received a 2024 Humane Society of the United States Community Cat Mentorship. Only six organizations in the entire country received Mentorships for 2024: two organizations in each of the three Mentorship categories. A dog with its tongue outDescription automatically generated

According to HSUS, "These six organizations have displayed a strong commitment to their communities, and we look forward to working with them in 2024. Each will be diving deep into either community cat programming, pet-inclusive housing or regional capacity building. We can’t wait to share stories of their progress!"

The six organizations are as follows: 

  • Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia (ACCT Philly) 
  • Animal Rescue League of Iowa 
  • Good Mews Animal Foundation 
  • High Desert Humane Society 
  • Laurens County Sheriff's Animal Shelter 
  • Vanderburgh Humane Society

The Mentorship includes $15,000 in grant funding, organization-specific training for VHS staff, and resources for building a definitive community cat program for the region. This will include discussions around high-volume community cat TNR (trap-neuter-release) and colony management in partnership with Evansville Animal Care & Control.

Shortly before receiving word of this grant, the VHS had adjusted its staffing structure to support community cat programming. Mackenzee McKittrick has been with the organization for 2 years, with an additional 10+ years of experience in veterinary technology, cat & kitten fostering, and community cat work. Her new title is Events & Outreach Coordinator. The addition of this staff support was quite timely alongside being notified that the VHS was receiving a 2024 Community Cat Mentorship.

While the VHS has always offered TNR surgeries and trap rental for cats through its Low-Cost Spay & Neuter Clinic for more than 15 years, there was relatively little staff support or education available for the public needing to use the program. The new staffing structure along with this Mentorship will help increase the availability of resources for those who are living with community cats on or near their properties.

VHS Director of Advancement Amanda Coburn says, “We’re thrilled to be chosen for one of six 2024 Mentorships. It feels great that the Humane Society of the United States is seeing not only our team’s hard work, but the potential of our region to make real headway in the realm of community cat management.”

If members of the public have cats in their neighborhood that they want to help, but don't know where to start, the VHS is hosting a Community Cat Information Night on Wednesday, November 29th. The meeting will be from 6:30-8:00 pm in the main lobby of the VHS at 400 Millner Industrial Drive, 47710.