This is the final cross-post in a series on a feral cat situation near Canton, Ohio.
Our guest blogger is BZ TAT, an artist and former counselor/therapist. She's the founder of Okey's Promise, an outreach through public art designed to create awareness about the connections between animal maltreatment, child abuse and domestic violence.
The original posts can be found at the Okey's Promise blog.
Feral Cat Rescue: The Big Job is complete.I have written about a colony of feral cats in Tuscarawas County, OH who helped me learn about the Trap-Neuter-Return process. I even drew their pictures, as they were very inspiring to me. You can see a slideshow below of the drawings.
The cats taught me A LOT. I am very grateful to them. I am sure that they are grateful that I am done, and pretty much out of their lives at this point! They all scatter when I come to visit my friend, their caregiver, which is fine by me.
In all, I trapped 13 cats and 5 kittens. There were two who simply would not be trapped (that I know of). My friend, who recently had heart surgery, will endeavor to trap them when she feels better.
The timing for the trapping turned out to be more urgent than anticipated. Because of our unusually warm weather in both February and March this year, females are going into heat early. We had 7 adult females, some of which had already gone into heat. Do the math. We were able to prevent the colony from growing significantly larger.
The overall clinic costs between One is One of a Kind Pets in Fairlawn, OH who did the spay/neutering, and the Tuscarawas County Humane Society cat shelter, who accepted the kittens, was $305.00. This was due to the very generous offering of One of a Kind Pets Spay Neuter Clinic to do the surgeries at a very low $20 per cat. (THANK YOU OOKP!!!)
There were some additional food and supply costs, and transportation costs as well. There was not a feral cat clinic in the area (other than a mobile unit that was not accessible at the times needed), so the cats had to be transported 60 miles each trip. Add to that a 60 mile round trip from my home to the trapping site, and I covered a 994 miles for the intervention.
We had $315 donated to aid in the intervention, and additional monies were contributed by the cats’ caregiver that offset these costs. I am deeply appreciative to those who contributed. The money helped to cover clinic costs, feeding costs, and transportation costs.
I am grateful to One is One of a Kind Pets and the Tuscarawas County Humane Society cat shelter for their help with the process, and to Iams Pet Foods, who donated 60 lbs of pet food to both organizations in thanks.
I am also very grateful to Peace For Pets, who loaned me the traps and educated me about the actual TNR procedures.
I have read that you can consider it a successful TNR intervention if you are able to neuter 70% of a colony. We managed to neuter 90%, so I feel that, as a team, we did pretty well!
Doing the intervention was an adventure. I feel that I need to stress, however, that there are many people in my community and across the country who do TNR every day in much more complicated situations than this was. I was in a rural area with a garage enclosure where the cats and I were safe. Often, trappers go into urban areas where the circumstances are much less luxurious.
They are true heroes in my book.
I do not know if I will do further trappings. I will assist others when needed, and I am doing some community education about TNR. I am participating in the Canton, OH citywide effort to make TNR the official means of feral cat management for the city. We’ll see where it leads me.
Thanks for following the adventure!
Life is an Adventure!