Pam's TNR Blog - Christmas 2011
Week before Christmas 2011
This was one of the busiest weeks of the year! Suzie and I trapped 13 cats for the Tempe clinic on 12/18. Three additional cats were caught the next night for a total of 16 cats from this location. I did another job at two locations in one neighborhood on Tuesday night for a total of 23 cats plus three cats the following night for a total of 26 cats on that street in central Phoenix. It was interesting that a neighbor on the next street emailed ADLA about some missing cats he was feeding...turns out they were being fixed that very day! He was grateful we could help. The entire neighborhood contributed donations towards this effort. This was an example of what people can do in their neighborhoods to help stabilize the free-roaming cat population. It works at lot better than simply complaining about the cats and causing ill will among neighbors.
On Wednesday night we had a mass trapping in 85019, our target zip code. Free-roaming cat spays and neuters in this zip code are being funded by PetSmart Charities over a two-year period. This is to show that targeted s/N of cats works to stabilize the cat population and to see if fewer cats end up in open-intake shelters. Suzie was trapping at three locations and helping me trap in an alley where a caregiver we had helped previously was feeding five cats. Grant was trapping in a nearby apartment complex where the gentleman was also feeding 12 cats (or so he said).
After we finished in the alley, Suzie headed off to check traps at her other jobs and I met up with Grant at the condos. Grant had called me saying "there are LOTs more cats here...can you bring more traps?". I asked "how many" and he said about 25 traps! I only had four more traps in my car having loaned some to Suzie who was short on traps. When I got to the feeding station at the main dumpster, he had 12 traps filled. As it turned out, there were cats living in an abandoned condo where they had access through a hole in the wall. It was trapping nirvana! Unfortunately, we did not have enough traps. And additionally, we did not have enough vet slots for the next day (Thursday). We'd have to come back next Wednesday night to trap the remaining cats. It was difficult leaving knowing there were cats needing to be fixed. There was a little humor that night despite the desperation...a cat got up in the dumpster and found some crab legs. Grant found him munching on his dinner!
Early Thursday morning Suzie and I headed back to the alley and trapped one more cat for a total of five cats. We had a total of 30 cats at two vets including my three from the second night trapping at the previous nights location. This was from six locations! There were also six more cats at these two vets, three were also from 85019 making this a total of 30 more 85019 cats in 2011. And I'll be back out there next week to round off the year with not just one (at the dumpsters) but at another location across Camelback Rd. on Monday night to trap 20+ cats.
Below is a photo of a kitten sitting in a mess of "stuff" left on the patio at the abandoned condo. We'll try to catch her next week. The photo was taking through the broken locked gate that provided access to the hole in the condo wall where the cats live...