Thursday, March 31, 2011

Alley Cat Rescue Hosts Free Feral Cat Spay Day

By helping just one cat, you will save the lives of many.


Mt. Rainier, MD— On April 27, 2011, Alley Cat Rescue (ACR) will be hosting its second annual Free Feral Cat Spay Day to encourage the veterinary community and the public to end cat homelessness and to decrease shelters’ euthanasia rates by practicing trap-neuter-return (TNR).

TNR is the humane management of feral cat colonies or community cats, where cats are caught in humane traps, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, ear-tipped and returned to the site. Friendly kittens and cats who can be socialized are placed into adoption programs to find homes, while those who are truly “feral” are returned to their outdoor homes. A feral cat is simply a domestic cat who was born outside and has never lived with humans, or one who was a house cat, became lost, and went without human contact long enough to become unsocialized to humans. Feral cats revert back to living on instincts and become less dependent on humans for survival. Feral simply means “wild” or “untamed.” 

ACR President and Alley Cat Allies co-founder, Louise Holton, is once again encouraging veteri­narians to participate on this important day by offering at least two free spays or neuters of feral cats to the public. In hard economic times countless people naively think a cat can “fend for himself,” so they put him on the streets or drop him off in the country. Holton says, “Many cats cannot fend for them-selves and will die, but others will go on to form or join feral cat colonies and breed unwanted feral kittens. TNR stops the breeding cycle more efficiently than catch-and-kill. In catch-and-kill, other strays will enter the vacated territory and start breeding all over again.”

Cat rescue organizations cannot tackle this problem alone; we need the support of the veterinary com­munity. By establishing long-term relationships between vets and rescuers, together we can help each town’s stray cat population. ACR wants to make it clear, this day is not only meant to help reduce feral cat numbers and assist colony caretakers, but to also help the veterinary community showcase their compas­sion for animals and bring them new clients in the future. 

Last year, over 150 veterinary clinics from 17 states joined ACR in the fight to prevent cat homelessness. Together, over 200 community cats were spayed or neutered. And thanks to our compassionate friends in South Africa and Canada, FFCSD has become an international campaign! So far this year, over 280 veterinary clinics have registered to participate; anyone interested in helping community cats, please join us on this very important day!!

For more information on Free Feral Cat Spay Day and how you can get involved, please visit www.saveacat.org or email Denise Hilton at dhilton@saveacat.org.

Photo Credit: Troy Snow

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