My friend Heather is a cat lover who does her part to make life better for cats in her Anne Arundel County, Maryland neighborhood. Her passion is those who are left to fend for themselves outdoors. The unwanted and abandoned.
When I read about one of her recent rescue efforts I knew I had to tell her story.
Back in January Heather had a co-worker tip her off about the “four” cats he was feeding. As it turned out, the man was feeding around 34 cats who were staying near a children’s playground/park. Heather and a team of TNR advocates gathered to trap the cats. People stepped up in amazing ways and to date, more than 30 feral cats have been successfully trapped and vetted.
The kittens were somewhat social and went to rescue. Most have since been adopted. The rest were trapped, neutered and returned so they won’t reproduce. They’ve all been ear tipped and vaccinated and are lucky to have a lady caregiver who feeds them and who wanted help with their care.
Many of the cats had to be nursed back to health (mostly kitty colds) before they could be returned to their colony. Sadly, two of the cats were very sick and couldn’t be saved. They were humanely euthanized. Another needed removal of all of her teeth and she’s doing well.
Unfortunately, eight of the cats trapped were pregnant. You don’t always know this at the time of TNR and this is one more reason for people to spay and neuter their cats. The pregnancies were terminated. This is standard procedure at many Humane Societies and shelters who perform TNR so please don’t judge.
Heather sends out a big thank you to Kathy Elliott for finding the sanctuary the cats were relocated to, a friend named Steve who discovered trapping cats was not “his thing,” a Bowie Claw volunteer who held the cats at her house and chauffeured the cats back and forth to clinic each week, Rude Ranch/Spay Spa & Neuter Nook who did all of the vetting (at a discount) and SPCA Anne Arundel who helped place the kittens in forever homes.
Honorable mention goes out to Heather’s co-worker Ghie Aquino Ablaza who provided snacks and Three Brothers restaurant staff who now ask for an update anytime Heather stops by for a meal.
In a recent post on her Facebook page, Heather said
“We do have two adult cats & three kittens who were born outside left to catch. This has been an “Every Sunday” project since January. I’ve been able to educate a neighborhood & neighbors said they don’t hear fighting from the cats anymore. More than 30 cats will no longer reproduce, which is huge! I think the light at the end of this tunnel finally appeared and it has been a worthwhile project!”
Anti-TNR advocates can preach negativity about trapping and returning cats. This TNR project was properly carried out. Kittens found new homes and 30 cats were put out of commission from reproducing. The neighbors are happy with the outcome and, sad as it may be, the cats who were truly suffering were euthanized. For a one-day-a-week project, I’d call it very successful.
Personally, I LOVE “light at the end of the tunnel” stories.