Recently a guest at my sister’s air-B&B enlightened us about a great organization that addresses both sides of the community cat issue and can also help out the local government in the process. The program is called TNVR (Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return). Here’s how it works: someone calls in to report stray cats; a volunteer traps them, takes them to where they are neutered, vaccinated, dewormed and given flea meds. The cat’s ear is then notched to show that it has been neutered, and they are returned to the neighborhood healthy, but without the ability to reproduce.
Who feeds stray cats? Often it’s the elderly or disabled who are enriched with the cats’ presence in their lives. In any given neighborhood there is lots of “ownership” as cats are known to travel up to half a mile, so if someone moves away there are other “feeders” that will continue to care for the cats. The cats also give back by keeping down rodents in the area.
Once the cat population is neutered the negatives of fighting and spraying cease, eliminating some of the negatives. One misconception is that cats defecate on surfaces like driveways, but since cats always scratch a spot, the blame for that must be put on other animals.
Animal control units in local municipalities also trap stray cats. We, the taxpayers pay the bill for housing and feeding for however long is required, and then the cats are euthanized, making for poor public relations.
Of course, neither method is the total answer, but TNVR has more good points. The best solution is a combination where the city council works together with volunteers and residents. Residents ideally could call into the city and be referred to volunteers who trap the cats. TNVR raises money through grants and donations and has the contacts to house, medically care for, and return healthy cats to the neighborhoods. The more humane treatment gives the city kudos for good planning, not to mention saving the taxpayers money.
Are there situations where animals need to be put down? Of course. Sometimes abuse is part of the picture, and in those cases permanent removal is warranted. In addition, forever homes are found for some cats or a volunteer may take the cat and find a home in a barn outside of the neighborhood.
Thank you, Lisa, the treasurer for Mid-Cities Community Cats (M-ccc.com) located in Bedford, Texas, who introduced us to TNVR. Is there a similar organization near you? Start with Alley Cat Allies or Petfinder.com. When contacting an organization ask if they do, or know who does, TNVR (Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return). Make a difference! Work with others to benefit the community you live in!
Working together for good,
TAGS: Cats, feral, TNVR, neuter, WorkTogether, volunteer, kittens, Ohmyarts.com, MakeADifference