Monday, March 22, 2010

Towson's Tiny Tigers

You may recall a previous blog regarding feral cats living on Maryland's Towson University campus. At first, administrators wanted to trap and kill the cats, but thanks to compassionate students, professors, and individuals in the community, the school decided to implement a TNR program. Here is an update.

(Logo: www.tiger.towson.edu)
Thanks to an email from a Towson student, we are told that this semester a student-based club called Towson’s Tiny Tigers has been established. The club is working to raise awareness of the feral cat population on campus, as well as raise funds to provide basic care for the cats. Right now, most of their donations are from staff members, who are dedicated to keeping the feral cat community safe and healthy, so funds are limited. Towson’s Tiny Tigers are looking for additional sources of funding to help cover the cost of sterilization, food, traps, etc. If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution or want more information on the organization’s work, please contact Dr. Algren at 410-704-5641 or by email at malgren@towson.edu.

Unfortunately, most colleges and universities have a resident stray and feral cat population. Students have a cat or kitten for the duration of their schooling, but once graduation comes around and it is time to move, cats are often left to fend for themselves. And more times than not, these cats are NOT sterilized, so they go on to produce unwanted litters of kittens, which add to the colony population. Large dumpsters on school campuses and occasional handouts from compassionate students provide food for the cats, so they find it a suitable place to live. Subsequently, one will find that most campuses have established their own organization to help manage the resident cat population. Students setup feeding stations, practice TNR to control the colony’s numbers, find homes for adoptable cats and kittens, and educate their fellow students on the importance of spay/neuter and keeping cats indoors.   

ACR thanks Towson administrators for implementing TNR rather than eradicating the cats. TNR is more effective and less costly than repeatedly trying to kill cats. Plus, it gives the students a great sense of responsibility, gets them involved within the community, and fosters compassion for animals. Students who volunteer with campus cat organizations help spread the importance of sterilization and proper pet care. What better way to reach students than by educating their peers. Way to go Towson Tiny Tigers!

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