United Coalition of Animals (UCAN) was founded in 2001, to stop the endless cycle of unwanted births of cats and dogs and the resulting euthanasia of those homeless cats and dogs in local shelters. At that time, over 70,000 puppies and kittens were being born each day in the U.S., compared to 10,000 humans, and over half of those born were accidental, unwanted litters. As a result, millions of cats and dogs entered U.S. shelters each year and over 6 million of them were being euthanized.
In April 2007, we opened our high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter clinic in a leased facility in the Queensgate area of Cincinnati. Our clinic is based upon the ASPCA Spay/Neuter Alliance low-cost, high volume spay/neuter clinic model which has been implemented successfully in hundreds of other communities across the United States. That model addresses the two main reasons people do not sterilize their pets: cost and lack of access to spay/neuter services. We eliminate both of those impediments by offering low-cost spay/neuter services (free to those who cannot afford to pay anything through generous grants and donations) and free transports to our clinic from several surrounding counties in Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana. We focus our spay/neuter efforts on shelters and rescues, families living in poverty, and community cats.
In 2014, thanks to a generous capital grant from The Joanie Bernard Foundation, we purchased our own building and opened our state-of-the-art clinic at 2830 Colerain Avenue in the Camp Washington area of Cincinnati.
In April 2017, we celebrated our 10th year anniversary and achieving 100,000 surgeries!!
As a result of the spay/neuter efforts by us and the other high-volume spay/neuter clinics across the country, the number of animals entering U.S. shelters each year has decreased to approximately 6 million and the number of those being euthanized has decreased to approximately 1.5 million. While that is tremendous progress, that is still too many homeless pets entering shelters and being euthanized, and we still have more work to do!>
Another reason pets are surrendered to shelters is costly illnesses that owners cannot afford to treat. To address that issue, in 2015, we began offering walk-in vaccine clinics on Fridays where low-income pet owners could obtain low-cost core vaccines for their pets to prevent preventable, costly illnesses. They can also obtain microchips with lifetime registrations at a very low cost so if their pet is ever lost, it can be returned to them rather than entering the shelter system.>
The lack of access to basic veterinary services for families living in poverty in our area has resulted in numerous animals being surrendered to shelters. We believe that every pet deserves a vet. So, in 2020, we began offering low-cost wellness visits for income-qualified pet owners, so their pets could get a thorough examination, treatment for minor issues, and preventative services to keep their pets healthy.
Since the place pets are at risk of euthanasia are local county shelters, we partner with many of the county shelters in our service area to provide spay/neuter services for their shelter animals.
We also partner with social service agencies to help their clients with their pets so they do not get to the point of surrendering their pets. One rewarding partnership is with Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cincinnati (IHNGC). They are the only organization in Cincinnati that houses and helps the pets of their temporarily homeless clients. While in IHNGC’s care, the pets receive free spay/neuter surgery, core vaccines and other wellness services at UCAN which enables IHNGC to board the pet and helps the owners to find affordable, pet-friendly housing.
We are also a member of The Pet Coalition of Greater Cincinnati, a collation of local shelters, rescues, spay/neuter clinics and other animal welfare organizations all working together to find solutions to help save more cats and dogs in our community.