Today's post is special, because it is sponsored by Blog the Change for Animals. Today I am writing about feral cats and a program called Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR).
Face it, we all know there are a lot of cats out there - many of which are feral. There are many places with great feral cat colonies. Some of which, are maintained by kindhearted people. They feed the cats and make sure they have fresh water.
I've grown up in a cat household - whether it's my cats inside, or a random cat outside - there is always a cat to be found where ever I am. So, I just happen to find myself today, July 15, on vacation in Cape May, New Jersey.
Cape May is known for their feral cat populations, the ordinances to keep cats inside and also known for the Cape May Bird Watching. I know many individuals around town, who help maintain the colonies through TNR, as well as placing adoptable kittens.
|I shared this on Facebook yesterday.|
One of cat rescue groups in Cape May is the Animal Outreach of Cape May County.
"Animal Outreach is a 501(c)(3) organization of dedicated individuals who work every day to help animals throughout our South Jersey communities. We assist owners in need, sponsor strays, foster cats, kittens, dogs and puppies awaiting adoption, and provide humane education to the public.
In addition, Animal Outreach has purchased a parcel of land on which to build a no-kill shelter and sanctuary."
Cape May is a wonderful example of the benefits of the TNR process; saving cats, returning them to their domain, without destroying them. That's all us cat rescuers ask for!
Another local New Jersey feral cat situation is in Atlantic City, NJ. This blurb, from the The Feral Cat Project:
"With an estimated 350-400 cats living under the boardwalk, complaints were plenty. Slated for euthanasia, the Cat Action Team was formed to protect the cats and offer TNR alternatives. Once trapping began, approximately 60% were removed for adoption or socialization. The other 40% returned to their homes under the boardwalk. Signs posted by the city educate newcomers of the do’s and don’ts. DO enjoy the cats. DO NOT feed them or dump new cats."
And local to where I live, in Virginia, is the George Mason (University) Cat Coalition. Over many years, and many cats - some of which lived to be over 15 & died of natural causes (granted there were a few hit by cars), has been a very successful TNR program. They are currently down to two "feral" cats. Annie, and her sister Catnan. And if anything says "feral" about Annie, it would be this picture...
|How many feral cats do you know who dress up?|
So I will leave you to think about this: The next time you find a feral or stray cat outside that you don't know what to do with, think about the Trap, Neuter and Return program. It has been working wonders - yes, it is not always an option - but when the opportunity is available, seize it!