In July 1998, Dr. Julie Levy founded Operation Catnip of Gainesville, a chapter at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Alachua County. Today, OC of Gainesville is one of three spay-neuter programs that owe their roots to the original group of committed cat lovers in Raleigh, NC.
When Dr. Levy arrived at the University of Florida in 1997, she was on a National Institutes of Health grant to study feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).
However, it wasn’t long before the problem of managing community cat populations took over her research time. There had to be a better way to control outdoor cat populations.
Prior to moving to Florida, Dr. Levy was an invaluable member of the team that created Operation Catnip in Raleigh, NC. She used her knowledge and experience to start Operation Catnip of Gainesville, a MASH-style clinic model nearly identical to Raleigh’s.
Leaders in Community Cat Management
Operation Catnip is a nonprofit organization offering free spay/neuter and vaccines for unowned free-roaming community cats from Alachua County. Our clinics are run entirely by volunteers (veterinarians, vet technicians and other trained volunteers) and are capable of sterilizing over 200 cats in a matter of hours.
Since its creation, thousands of community cats in Alachua County and the surrounding area have been sterilized. By offering surgical and clinical opportunities to qualified veterinary students, we have been training the next generation of our country’s veterinarians for over 20 years. Thanks to Dr. Julie Levy’s leadership and guidance, Operation Catnip of Gainesville has evolved to become a model for Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) clinics all over the world.
Visit ocgainesville.org to learn more about this program. Please contact Operation Catnip for scheduling or to volunteer at 352-380-0940 or firstname.lastname@example.org.