Trap-neuter-return volunteers insist that only they can feed the cats

When volunteers are engaged in a TNR program only they are allowed to feed the cats. If kindhearted individuals happen to be passing by the feral cat colony managed by these volunteers and decide to put down food for them they will disrupt the work of the TNR volunteers.

This is because the food put down by people other than the volunteers pulls the cat’s away from areas where the feral cat advocates are trapping the cats and monitoring them.

Trap-neuter-return volunteers insist only they can feed the cats
Photo by Saul Marquez.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Brooklyn Bridge Park

This problem of outsiders feeding feral cats in a managed colony is happening in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The feral cats of the park are managed by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Animal Welfare Coalition. The members of this coalition are irritated by people feeding their cats. They have put up signs requesting that people should not feed the cats but park users are ignoring them. Most people don’t notice the signs.

This has resulted in the cats evading the traps put down by members of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Animal Welfare Coalition. The knock-on effect, the coalition says, is that the cats have been left unchecked and are now threatening wildlife particularly around Pier One.

This in turn may cause problems by people who don’t like cats. The coalition says that not everyone is fond of the felines. Amen to that.

It is an interesting thought that volunteers who manage feral cat colonies under TNR programs dislike it when other people feed the cats. I wonder if they could put a sign up which doesn’t say “stop feeding the cats” but asks people to feed the cat in a designated area where they can be monitored and trapped by the volunteers.

Has anybody else involved in TNR programs encountered this particular problem? If so please leave a comment. I sense that there is a slight problem with volunteers involved in TNR. They don’t like other people to interfere because it disrupts their work. However, it may be difficult to avoid the involvement of outsiders.

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5 thoughts on “Trap-neuter-return volunteers insist that only they can feed the cats”

  1. Years ago, the same issues that Albert states o clearly were happening at a riverside colony of 16 cats I helped with, just on the evening feed rota.

    We had a meeting about it and the winning idea was to erect a post/board at the location, put a big laminated friendly poster up, telling a little about the colony,contact details, TNR individual cats by name (no pictures) – asking people to please make donation of cat food in the galvanised, locked metal container, a bit like commercial parcel drop boxes, so hands can ‘t get inside to steal.

    The TNR feeding location land was privately owned by a cat loving family, they were very helpful. The public feeders gained legal access via a Public Footpath.

    It worked for just over one week, the extra feeding stopped and we got a few donations. Thought we had cracked it. One morning the donation bin had been blown up using a can of spray varnish as both explosive force & accelerant. Good that no cats were hurt, the one bag of donated dry food was blown everywhere, ruined by the taint of burning varnish and water used to put out the fire.

    We never managed to stop it happening and it did cause some difficulties.

  2. Yes, all of that is true. I live near such a colony being managed by TNR and the end result of unauthorized feeding is detrimental to the colony. It can’t be managed when outsiders interfere. Bad things happen, like cats subsequently not feeding where and when they need to be fed. They need the routine. Then when the program fails, the local counsel authority may drop permission to manage the colony and choose to eradicate the cats altogether. The very concept of TNR is then abandoned in that area and possibly others nearby. If you care about the cats then ask if you may adopt one who is adoptable, and/or donate toward that colony.


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