Monday, October 16, 2017

What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and how does it work? (#GlobalCatDay)

FROM CAT CHAT WITH CAREN AND CODY: Happy Global Cat Day which has evolved from National Feral Cat Day®.  Alley Cat Allies created National Feral Cat Day® on its 10th anniversary in 2001 "to raise awareness about community cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), and recognize the millions of compassionate Americans who care for them. Because compassion knows no borders, international participation in National Feral Cat Day grew each year, reaching at least 20 countries with last year’s edition. That mark has already been eclipsed this year, with engagement for the inaugural Global Cat Day coming from more than 40 countries, from Australia to the United Kingdom, Belgium to Brazil, Saudi Arabia to South Africa and many more."
Courtesy of Alley Cat Allies on Facebook

TAKE/SIGN THE GLOBAL CAT DAY PLEDGE“I pledge to be an ally to cats, including those who call the outdoors their home. I will advocate for compassionate policies that protect every cat in my community.” 

Today on this special day we are happy to have guest blogger Cherri Megasko writing about the importance of TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return). Cherri has been an animal lover all her life. In addition to caring for her own pets, she has been trained to rehabilitate sick or injured wildlife. Cherri is currently traveling the world with her husband, Greg, and Yorkshire Terrier, Winston. Please check out her pet and wildlife blog –
Cats, Dogs and Polliwogs.
This colony of feral cats was photographed on a roadside
 while scavenging for food scraps
   
Sara Golemon (Wikimedia Commons)

There are an estimated 70 million feral cats in the U.S. In addition to the damage they do to wildlife and personal property, they generally lead sick and miserable lives. Feral cats typically live in colonies where they must constantly hunt and scrounge for food, breeding uncontrollably until they are hit by a car, die of starvation or come to some other painful and tragic end. Today, (October 16), is Global Cat Day. You can observe this important day by learning about Trap-Neuter-Return programs in your area and and volunteering to help where you can.

TNR is one method of controlling feral cat populations. As the name implies, feral cats are humanely trapped, transported to a veterinarian for a rabies vaccination and sterilization, and then returned to their colonies. In addition, colony caretakers regularly monitor feral cat colonies and provide food, water and shelter for the colony population.
As adorable as this feral kitten is, he is sentenced to grow up in a harsh and frightening world.
Image Credit:
Serkan Dulgeroglu (FreeImages.com)

Who provides this service?
There are many volunteer organizations across the U.S. that support TNR programs. Funding for food and supplies generally is acquired from private donations. Many local veterinarians will also provide discounted sterilization services for TNR programs and some cities have government-funded TNR programs as well.

Why is TNR a good option?
Although not without its challenges, TNR programs are more effective in controlling feral cat populations than simply removing cats from an area. The reason for this is that cats are territorial. When you simply attempt to remove all the feral cats from one geographic area, new feral individuals will move in and start new colonies. By sterilizing colony residents and providing them with the basics of food, water and shelter, you are controlling population growth and helping to maintain a disease-free environment. TNR programs also include rabies vaccinations, which help protect area wildlife and adjacent human populations.
Many feral cats live dangerous and lonely lives.
 You can help by donating your time or money
 in celebration of Global Cat Day on October 16.
Image Credit:
Sener Aydin (FreeImages.com)

How Can I Celebrate Global Cat Day?
TAKE/SIGN THE GLOBAL CAT DAY PLEDGE!! Participating in the Trap-Neuter-Return program is not something that is advisable for an individual to attempt on his own. For obvious reasons, there are many logistical, safety and legal issues that need to be carefully considered. The first step should be to contact your local animal shelter, veterinary clinic or animal control office to inquire about programs that already exist in your area. Once doing so, there will be many ways to become involved. Volunteers are often needed to transport captured cats to veterinary offices, provide foster care as the cats recover from surgery, or to be a colony caretaker. Donations of food and supplies are most always welcome as well.



35 comments:

  1. Oh, I am so, so sorry and sad for those kitties. And that little one...oh, dear, I must have looked like those kitties at one time, but I was a sort of domesticated feral when I found mama and papa. I think someone just let me out of the car and went home from summer in our little town and left me to forage. So I found MAMA and PAPA.

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    1. and...your Mama and Papa love you DEARLY! You lucked out in the Mama and Papa department for sure! So glad they found you!!!!! xoxo

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  2. Thank you for this heartfelt and informative post. I had no idea the name had been changed to Global Cat Day and will have to remember that for next year. Purrs from Deb and the Zee/Zoey gang

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    1. Cherri deserves the credit, not me!! Actually if you subscribe to the Alley Cat Allies newsletter they were promoting it like crazy!!! (and...don't feel bad, I had to edit Cherri's original post because there was National Feral Cat Day all over it, because I had told her it was National Feral Cat Day). Just edited it last night ;)

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  3. I signed the pledge! Great post; covered the basics, except feral cats don’t do damage to personal property...cannot imagine what that is.

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    1. Cherri did a good job. Maybe she can stop by and answer that!

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    2. Hi! Eastside Cats! The personal property damage has to do with feral cats pooping in sandboxes and playground sand and the tearing into trash bags at night. I've never personally had the trash bag problem because we've always had sturdy cans where we kept our trash. But - When my daughter was little we had to finally remove her sand box because it was costing a fortune to keep replacing the sand. I'll never forget the day she came in from playing and was as happy as could be - but totally covered in cat poop!

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  4. Great information about TNR. I took my pledge for community cats!

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  5. Yeay. Today is Global cat day. TNR does help. I remember volunteering with a NYC organization and we had good relationships with other organizations, some of which did TNR. It really does require proper training but does help lives of our feline friends. Great post.

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    1. YAY for you volunteering and Cherri did a great job!

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  6. 70 million feral cats ! Woaw ! ! I didn't know there was this much feral kitties in U.S.A.

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  7. Excellent post. I am thankful for all those who feed and TNR.

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  8. TNR sure does work! Unfortunately we've never gotten all of our ferals in one season, as hard as we try, that's why we have kittens again. We keep trying!

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    1. Brian your furmily does an AMAZING job!! Absolutely AMAZING!!

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  9. Great post, Caren and Cody!

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

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    1. Thanks but Cherri gets the credit, not me!

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  10. Great post ! We strongly believe in TNR too. Purrs

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  11. Excellent post Caren and Cody!

    Big hugs

    Basil & co xox

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    1. thank you but it's Cherri who wrote it, not me! (I only wrote the top portion).......thank you!! xoxo

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  12. 70 million!! So sad! I can't believe there are that many! Thanks for the very informative and clearly much needed post!

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  13. I will celebrate by kissing my Mickey Mouser, (trapped, neutered, and fostered as a kitten by my husband and me) and Rufus the Red (trapped, neutered, and fostered as a 2 year old). Many kittens, and adults who somehow ended up on the streets, whether lost or dumped, are rescued and become dear companions for people. TNR is the best solution for feral adults.
    Thank you to everyone who takes part in this difficult but humane work!
    xxoo

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  14. We know that TNR is becoming more accepted by cities and towns but we hope one day it is the only way to handle community cats.

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  15. We believe in TNR and are glad more people have heard of it but there's still lots that haven't. Hopefully one day it'll be a common practice to reduce the number of feral kitties.

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  16. This is so important. Our neighbourhood actually has tons of strays and unneutered colonies which is causing problems :(

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  17. I was disgusted last year when it made the news that a local municipality was changing from extermination to TNR. Apparently, extermination of ferals is the norm around here. It just blows my mind. And the comments on the news story made me so angry and sad – most people support extermination. I truly don’t get it. Bear's my little success story ... I'm not sure if he was entirely feral - but he was homeless and probably started out that way. I never saw him get close to anyone else outside ... so I like to think I was just special :)

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    1. extermination is deplorable. People accept it because sadly, so many dislike cats. I don't understand it. When people dislike cats, they DEEPLY dislike cats. As you know, my Bobo was like Bear...I don't think he was completely feral at all......he either got out or someone abandoned him.......this was in the days before computers and I drove around for weeks looking for signs that someone lost him and read the lost and found ads. After 2 weeks of searching, that was it, he was mine. And yes....as for being special, you are!

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    2. Extermination just sends my soul reeling.

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  18. I think that TNR programs are a great way to control the feral populations. In fact, in my country a national TNR program has just been launched last week. I think we're heading in the right direction.

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  19. I love TNR programs and I am intensely grateful for them. I am sad all the way through for the pitiful innocents that have to live this terrible horrible way. Bless the TNR people and the rescues and fosters.

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  20. Great info from Cherri! TNR is so important and it's something I didn't know about before joining the cat blogging world. Those who perform TNR in communities are such wonderful people!

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