Sunday, October 16, 2011
In Honor Of National Feral Cat Day, We Are Proud To Introduce You To "S-NAP" A Guest Blog By Deb Gascho
Hello, my name is Deb Gascho and I am the secretary for Spay-Neuter Animal Project (S-NAP) in Mt. Pleasant Michigan. I am very honored that Caren has asked me to write in her blog today to promote National Feral Cat Day! Let me start by giving you some background on our group S-NAP.
S-NAP is a small group of dedicated individuals who began volunteering at our local animal shelter. After several years of seeing too much death and ignorance and having our houses over run by foster kitties that never seemed to leave, we all needed a mental break and a new psyche on mankind. We needed a way to keep the cats out of our shelter where 70% + were killed just because of an over abundance. We also wanted an out for the feral cats that when brought in were not only terrified for the 4 day holding period but then put to death by injection. The memories of seeing these feral cats in sheer terror cowering in the back of the hard metal cages will never escape us and keeps us motivated to speak out for them. Thus S-NAP was formed.
Our mission is to reduce pet overpopulation by promoting the spaying and neutering of both companion and feral animals. What we are most proud of is our Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program for community cats. We feel this is where we can make the biggest impact in saving lives. Did you know that one unspayed female cat, her mate and all their offspring, producing 2 litters per year, with only 2.8 surviving kittens per litter can produce 12 cats in 1 year, 67 cats in 2 years and in eight years a whopping 2,072.514 cats!
Catch and kill attempts on outdoor community cats may temporarily reduce the number of cats in a given area, but two things happen: intact survivors continue to breed, and other cats move into the now available territory. TNR is the only method proven to be humane and effective at controlling the feral cat populations. There are no more kittens, the population stabilizes and the returned cat’s lives are improved. There is no more yowling, fighting, spraying or roaming in the community.
Our group S-NAP, works with a low cost veterinarian who spays and neuters all our community cats which are trapped. Fifty dollars for spaying a female and forty five for neutering a male can add up quickly! We are a 501c3 run entirely on donations and our own pocket money. We found it’s easy for shelters to get donations from individuals for the cute and cuddly animals with “stories” but try and get donations to spay/neuter a wild cat and that’s a different animal! So, we were thrilled when we found out we had won the Trailblazer Award from Alley Cat Allies!!! Enclosed in the award was a check for $500 to be used for spaying and neutering community cats. We can’t thank Alley Cat Allies enough for their confidence in our group to make a difference in our community. Also, thank you to Tru Catch Traps (the best traps in the world!) for donating a trap.
It is frustrating at times to know of colonies that need care and not have the money to provide for them. With this award we are now able to spay at least 10 females and males! What a huge difference this will make in enhancing their lives.
Lets not forget a feral “community” cat didn’t just happen overnight. Instead he was probably dropped off by someone not wanting him and his siblings, dumping them and feeling the problem was taken care of. We urge everyone to please take responsibility for these cats. If you have an abundance of cats please look for help to spay and neuter them. If you know of a colony please contact a group who can help. If you can’t find one on the first try please persevere until someone hears you and helps. A Community cat should never be taken to an animal shelter. You can help them. In the website www.carolsferals.org you can get ideas on how to feed and provide shelter for them during rain and freezing whether. Please don’t turn your back when you see a cat ducking behind a dumpster or sunning in your backyard.
We challenge you to be their voice! J
Thank you again to Caren to allow me to talk about our group S-NAP and the wonderful world of Community Cats. Please check out our website at www.S-NAP.org. We welcome any comments or questions you have on caring for a colony.