“TNR” – trap, neuter, release. Although this month it would be appropriate to call it “TSR,” trap, spay and release since we are in the midst of cat spay mania.
You might not be aware that there are thousands of feral cats living in our community. Ferals are cats that are born in the wild, live outside and for the most part, fend for themselves. In the animal welfare world there are many opinions about what should happen to these cats but our goal is simple – fix as many as possible. Keep in mind that a female cat and her unaltered mate can produce over a thousand kittens over a three year period.
We work with several rescue groups in town who feed and provide care for these cats. There is also an amazing group of dedicated individual community members who are doing what they can to help as well. Last week one of our beloved clients brought in Feral #6 – the sixth feral cat that she has trapped and fixed.
In order for a feral cat to be fixed it has to be trapped first. Although it doesn’t sound nice, it’s really the only way for these type of cats to be handled. Most are only friendly to the person who is providing the food and terrified of everyone else. A trap is the only way to catch them and it also makes it easy for us to sedate the cat so it isn’t so stressed while it’s inside. Better for the cat,better for us. Once the surgery is done the cat recovers in a cat carrier overnight and then is released the next day back to the colony. “TNR.”
Granted it isn’t ideal to release a cat back outside the day after surgery. Particularly the female cats. But you have to ask – which is more harmful, releasing a cat the day after surgery or having this same cat either give birth to impregnate hundreds of other cats? These are the questions that we ask everyday. How do we provide the best care and do everything we can do reduce the number of homeless animals in our community?
-Cary Bernstein, Executive Director