October, 2020 – due to the spread of the coronavirus, CCTNR had to suspend all trapping operations during the months of April and May. Trap-neuter-return was able to resume throughout the summer, but fewer veterinary appointments were available as the clinics worked to catch up from their close down. Now, as winter approaches, we are striving to spay as many feral females as possible before cold winter weather forces our annual pause until warmer weather again arrives.
Caregivers who are feeding and caring for homeless cats are encouraged to continue providing care for them. They especially need food, water and shelter throughout the winter. Community Cats TNR continues to need additional donations of dry and canned cat food dropped off in the box in the lobby at Shop N Save to help increased demand from caregivers.
Dr Crystal McConnell and Tangella Christmas
of Country Veterinary Clinic PC holding
Cat # 1,000 nicknamed “Smudge”
Community Cats TNR is thankful for a grant award in 2020 from an anonymous donor foundation with a mission to assist animal welfare organizations in Michigan. The grant award of $2,500 was used to provide cat food to help caregivers keep their feral colonies healthy and well fed.
This same foundation provided nearly $1,000 in funding in 2019 for the purchase of additional trapping equipment.
Our gratitude also goes to the Bissell Pet Foundation for awarding a $1,100 grant to help pay veterinary costs for spay and neuter.
Cat # 1000 News Article
Community Cats TNR, a local, non-profit group of volunteers, in partnership with Country Veterinary Clinic, P.C. and Animal Hospital of Ludington, has Trap-Neuter-Returned (TNRd) the 1000th Community Cat.
The cat, a young black and white female, was spayed by Dr. Crystal McConnell of Country Veterinary Clinic on March 19, 2020.
During the past seven years, volunteers for the Community Cats TNR program have been working with caregivers to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) homeless cats, primarily in urban locations, throughout Mason County. Trap-Neuter-Return, commonly referred to as “TNR,” is the only method proven to be humane and effective at controlling feral cat population growth.
Caregivers who regularly provide food, water and shelter for homeless cats care about the humane treatment of homeless animals and make it possible for Community Cats TNR to help control the population growth in and around the neighborhood. By establishing a regular feeding schedule, they can determine which cats are homeless and can make it possible to humanely trap the cats.
Community Cats TNR volunteers trap and transport the cats to a veterinary clinic where they are given a health check, rabies and distemper vaccines, parasite treatment, are spayed or neutered and administered pain medication. The left ear of each cat is tipped for identification purposes. After surgery, volunteers care for the cats in a quiet, temperature controlled environment for one to four days before returning them to their colony and caregiver for continued monitoring.
Set traps are watched at all times to assure that trapped cats are not injured or subjected to heat, cold or rain. As soon as the trap is triggered, it is immediately covered with a sheet or blanket to calm the cat and reduce stress. The trapped cat is then removed to a quiet location to await surgery. Set traps are never left unattended, especially overnight and cats are not trapped during winter months to avoid stress of cold temperatures and surgery at the same time.
The organization focuses on homeless cats that need to be trapped for safe handling and transport to the veterinary clinic. People who are caring for friendly strays are encouraged to arrange for surgery with their own veterinarian and to contact www.fixingfurryfriends.org to secure a spay/neuter certificate to pay for a portion of the cost. Community Cats TNR does not assist with surgery costs for pet cats and is not equipped to handle rescue situations.
Based upon the most conservative calculation of the birth and survival rate of only one litter per year per female, we estimate that the Community Cats TNR program has prevented the birth of at least 228,000 unwanted kittens so far. Further, Trap-Neuter-Return has an immediate effect by reducing the neighborhood birth rate and potentially reducing the annual intake by Mason County Animal Control.
Kitten season is at a peak from April through September. The offspring of homeless cats face a very uncertain future and are at the mercy of cold weather, predators, and starvation. For information about what to do if you find kittens, visit www.communitycatstnr.org and click on the FAQ/Kitten Care tab for a link to the Alley Cat website. The site provides a comprehensive guide for caring for kittens, and an excellent progression link illustrating their age and growth.
Community Cats TNR relies on support from the community in the form of direct and memorial donations and fundraisers to continue its goal to achieve population decline of the free-roaming, feral, and/or abandoned cats in our area. Thanks to the generosity of a caring community, this goal has become measurable and real.
Donations of cat food may be made at the drop off bin in the lobby of Shop N Save. Canisters for monetary donations are available at a number of local businesses, and donations may be made to Community Cats TNR and sent to P.O. Box 384, Ludington, MI 49431.
Pet owners are encouraged to get their pets, especially cats, spayed or neutered. If they are allowed outside or get lost, they are the ultimate cause of the feral cat population! Be a responsible pet owner!
For more information on the success of TNR, deterring stray cats from your garden, building winter cat shelters, providing fresh water, and facts and studies about homeless cats, visit these websites: www.communitycatstnr.org; www.alleycat.org; and www.neighborhoodcats.org.
Although volunteers have suspended trap/neuter/return activities until further notice to follow the “stay safe-stay home” guidelines to help curb the spread of coronavirus, those who are caring for free-roaming, feral, unsocialized cats that need to be trapped may call 845-7888 or 843-9312 for more information. Donations of cat food in the box at Shop N Save are needed more than ever right now.
TNR cat # 1,000 nicknamed “Smudge”