Rogue Unskilled TNR Person Botches TNR Operation on Wandering Domestic Cat?

How do people engaged in trap-neuter-return distinguish between feral cats and scruffy outside cats? A story from Fox 46, an online newspaper, concerning a domestic cat got me thinking about how the good people who are engaged in trap-neuter-release programs distinguish with certainty between feral cats and domestic cats who are wandering around outside.

Mr Skunk
Mr Skunk, a wandering, male domestic cat suffered being trapped as a feral cat and spayed (or an attempt) as a female cat!
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Some wondering domestic cats are going to look like feral cats and some feral cats are going to be semi-feral which means that they could be approached and that their behaviour will be little different to roaming outside domestic cats.

Microchipping would distinguish a domestic from feral cat but not all are microchipped. All that said I have decided that in this instance the person doing TNR is unskilled and poorly equipped.

A woman, Caroline Reames, living in Belmont, North Carolina, USA, regularly, over many years, let her 9-year-old cat, Mr Skunk, go outside. She had done it for years. On February 25 her cat did not return for three days.

Caroline saw him on the front porch looking poorly. She said that he had peed all over himself. His ear was cut (ear tipped but poorly done) and when she picked him up she noticed that his stomach had been shaved and that there were at least two incisions in his stomach.

Botched ear tipping
Botched ear tipping
Botched spaying
Botched spaying

When I read that I immediately thought that a person engaged in a trap-neuter-release programme, not far from Caroline’s house, had trapped her cat and thinking that he was female and feral had clipped the tip of his ear after attempting to perform a spaying operation on him. Perhaps they had realised quite soon into the operation that he was a male cat. They then released him. Judging by the crude ear tipping and the mistake regarding the cat’s sex the TNR person may have been unskilled as mentioned.

Caroline says she freaked out. She did not know what had happened. But she researched the matter and realised that people engaged in TNR did perform these operations.

Mr Skunk appears to have been traumatised. He hides under a bed but he has made a full recovery. Caroline has a gut feeling that there is somebody out there who does not like her cat. I think she is not quite right. I think what happened is someone wants to do something about wandering cats but not kill them and I think the person needs training.

Or was this a genuine mistake. How often does it happen? I’d think very rarely.

10 thoughts on “Rogue Unskilled TNR Person Botches TNR Operation on Wandering Domestic Cat?”

  1. Since they’ve banned the use of dissection cats on which to learn surgical procedures on cats in many communities, many institutes that teach vet practices now just set-up TNR workshops to use any and all live free roaming cats for teaching their students. If a mistake is made who is going to complain? That cat will soon die out of sight anyway. TNR has become a money-making boon to veterinarian schools. Their students get to learn and practice on live cats now, ones they can even get for free, instead of dead ones that they have to buy at high prices from biological supply houses.

    Didn’t you read that story last year where thousands of cats were being dumped outside just hours after their TNR operations? How soon you forget. No wonder you don’t think this happens often. It happens every day where TNR is being promoted. Promote TNR some more. Vet schools and all their inexperienced students love you for it. They get to slice open and learn from their their mistakes on live cats instead of dead ones now.

    • So in response to D Simmons this appears to be the state of veterinary medicine. No where do you find young veterinary students roaming dark alleys with their Jack the Ripper kit looking for innocent kitty’s to slice open. What happened to Mr. Skunk appears to be someone playing veterinarian using who knows what method to restrain the animals. Whoever made those incisions had a poor knowledge of anatomy. this is a felony and I hope the AG prosecutes when the idiot is found.

    • Hi Woody. As usual your comment is flawed and full of holes. Also you provide no hard evidence for what you state and you exaggerate. Typical of you.

      • That’s OK the flamer post led me to the link I posted showing many medical and veterinary schools are moving away from live animals. Veterinary students are allowed to learn S/N but only under supervision.

  2. I’ve never heard of an instance such as this. Horrible treatment. Poor Mr. Skunk. I would not rest until I found out who did this, make them pay to have him treated by a real vet and see that they not do this again.

  3. FFS if ye are not a authorized legit veterinarian then ye have no business spaying/neutering cats,I’m a TNR person and no way in hell would I attempt to fix a cat on my own and ear tipping is a must so the same cat is not trapped twice but only by a vet,not a TNR caregiver,Mr.Skunk’s story has me enraged,poor soul!

  4. OMG!
    That poor cat.
    I doubt that any legitimate TNR program would ever be responsible for this. Legitimate programs have legitimate vets that would have never sliced open the belly of a male cat.
    This looks to be the work of some sort of bizarre, amateur person wishing to TNR on their own or a vicious animal abuser imitating TNR. In any case, I can’t believe that the culprit is well meaning at all.
    I hope Mr. Skunk heals well, physically and emotionally, after being so brutalized.
    Hate it, but keep him inside, Caroline.

    • I got the same impression Dee. I have a feeling that the person is not being malicious but simply stupid. I could be wrong though.


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