After Emma Manning spends the day teaching she usually spends three hours in the evenings trapping, arranging for their spaying and neutering, and releasing feral cats (CBC reports).
“So I would say it’s almost like working two full-time jobs.”
This is the level of dedication and commitment Emma Manning has for the feral cats where she lives. She has identified a feral cat colony of around 10 cats. She mainly works alone, as far as I can tell, but she does work with some volunteers when possible and receives some small donations.
Emma wants a greater involvement from the town council and she believes that the role of the SPCA could be increased. She lives in a town called Gander in Newfoundland, Canada. It’s a small town of about 11,500 people in the north-eastern part of the island of Newfoundland.
She takes the trapped cats to a veterinarian in Clarenville. It seems that she has a routine appointment with the veterinarian and she really has to cancel it.
The cats are released into the woods. Manning believes that they are too old and too feral to try and domesticate. She believes that they are happier being released back where they came from. This is one of those difficult issues because there are a lot of people who disagree with TNR programs. Emma, in effect, runs her own TNR program.
She believes that the feral cats “deserve just as much intervention and care as what a tame cat would”. Despite being released outside she feels that she makes a difference to their lives. Neutered male cats should get into less fights. In the photograph above you see Gerry, a male cat with a scratched face. He’s just been neutered and will be returned to his wild home once he has recovered. His face tells us that he has got into fights. Neutering tends to blunt the desire to fight and therefore he should live a healthier life.
Female cats constantly become pregnant and there are health issues related to pregnancy and not being spayed. Of course, when carried out effectively, Emma is stopping the creation of more feral cats which means less unhappiness amongst the feral cat population. There is perhaps the greatest contribution people like Emma make.
One of the volunteers who works with Emma is Amanda Burt. she said:
“Their caretakers love them, and everybody in rescue, they know with a feral cat – you know that you are there kind of last hope for a good life.”
It takes this sort of effort by Emma, in effect doing two jobs, to make a difference, to positively contribute to the health and welfare of cats who should not be feral but should be loved like any other domestic cat. Volunteers like Emma work almost invisibly in America. Emma has found some celebrity through the online news media but the vast majority of volunteers don’t and they keep on going, committed to the welfare of feral cats.
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