Feral cat lover Heather Patterson runs For the Love of Ferals, a small organization who along with another group, Forgotten Ferals. Together they work hard to help cats in the Kingston, Ontario area. Right now Heather is worried because, despite the availability of city funding set aside for TNVR, there may not be enough people to help the cats.
The city prepared to approve a 2019 operating budget of $388 million Tuesday night, with $25,000 set aside to fund the program. The loss of Spay Neuter Kingston Initiative who stopped administering the TNVR program on January 1 has left those wanting to help the ferals shorthanded.
Heather stated in a February 19 interview with Whig-Standard
“It’s not always about the money. Sometimes it’s about how much available time you have. I know a lot of people are excited about this money getting approved and think it’s great news, and it is great news, but it is not good news for us.”
Heather also has the responsibility of a full-time job and says For the Love of Ferals is run by herself and a group of part-time volunteers. Last year the two groups took in 650 feral cats. Only 100 of the cats were in Kingston. There are currently too many feral cats in the area for only 100 cats being TNVR’d to make an impact with the volunteers available at this time.
The feral rescue groups all use the same veterinarian and get services at a reduced price. The vet can only do so many and the groups can’t bring in extra cats due to time constraints (for themselves as well as the vet). Heather is hoping for a low-cost, high-volume spay and neuter clinic. And for more people willing to help since time is as much of an obstacle as money.
Right now the city has to wait on the approval of the 2019 budget before anything can be done, including who will administer the TNVR program.
The issue of needing a high-volume clinic that focuses on spay/neuter is common everywhere. With the low-cost initiative, many clinics are booked weeks if not months in advance.