Pam's TNR Blog - March 2012

In January and February 2012 I trapped 381 cats, It is now March 12th and since March 1st I've already trapped and fixed 50 more cats for a total of 431 cats. With all this trapping I've not been able to sit down and blog about all my adventures and challenges. There have been many...I'll highlight a few below.

The photo below is of the release of a colony of 27 cats Suzie and I trapped for for the Arizona Humane Society monthly clinic last week..."Get the hell out of Dodge"!

 

 
We fixed 100 cats at the AHS last Tuesday. There were a total of 118 cats TNR'd with 18 of our cats having to go to another clinic (thank you Dr. Anderson!) Whenever Suzie and I go out together trapping - watch out. Thank you AHS for helping fix feral cats for us.
 
My biggest colony trapped this year so far was 51 cats. I did this by myself over two nights. It was in our 85019 target area and I had expected about 25 cats. Amazing how caregivers often underestimate the number of cats. This caregiver did not know about our targeted TNR program in her neighborhood. I surely will be back in that area as I am sure there are many more to trap. At least this colony will produce no kittens this Spring. What a joy to see all those ear-tipped cats knowing that no kittens will die on the street. Again, thank you PetSmart Charities for providing the resources to help so many cats in need.
 
Below are two photos from a Feb. trapping. The first shows a kitten from a litter born in the roof of a caregiver's house. This kitten was looking for Mom who was in a trap waiting to be fixed. The second photo show the mom cat going back to the kittens the next morning after being spayed. Unfortunately I was not able to to rescue the kittens, about 3 weeks old. Guess I'll be back there in a couple of weeks when they are a little older and have come down to eat.

 
Kitten looking for Mom
 

Mom looking for her kittens

 
Last night I trapped seven cats with Andrea from a colony where she had previously trapped 12 cats. We also sat for several hours at a restaurant where we had previously but the cats did not cooperate.
 
Although I trap a LOT of cats, I am only making a small contribution to stabilizing free-roaming cat populations in Maricopa County. There are an estimated 641,000 free-roaming cats in the valley. This number is based on surveys of stray cats being fed. No one really knows the exact number - it could be more. There are many more "truly feral" cats living on the streets. Combine this statistic with the 19,955 cats euthanized at local open-intake shelters in 2011 and we have a LOT of work to do. The majority of these cats were defined as "strays".
 
The Spay Neuter Hotline helped fix almost 10,500 cats in 2011 and nearly 30,000 cats since we began our TNR program in 2009. Right now cats are getting pregnant and giving birth. The 3 week old kittens shown in the photo above were seen on Feb. 28th. I'll soon be having litters born in my car on the way to the vet to be fixed.
 
Nothing about TNR is easy. It is a lot of work, often backbreaking and even dangerous. It is also expensive. It would be much easier for us (including me) if everyone just spayed and neutered their cats. I am waiting to spend all of my time reading books, drinking coffee, doing volunteer archeology and hiking...out of work!
 
So spread the word about spay/neuter and TNR. Fixing tame cats is an important part of the solution as all feral cats came originally came from a tame cat allowed to roam free. For low-cost and free resources for spay and neuter visit our Spay Neuter Hotline website
 
If you are interested in our TNR program please call: 602-265-7729 (SPAY)
 
Most importantly, help prevent a litter by donating to the Hotline's TNR program. We need your help. Donations can be made online or mailed to:
 
The Spay Neuter Hotline
P.O. Box 33093
Phoenix 85067
 
Thanks for your support!