Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New Study Proves TNR is Effective at Reducing Community Cat Populations and Reducing Shelter Euthanasia Rates

The results of new study on the effectiveness of trap-neuter-return (TNR) support what previous studies have already shown...that TNR does effectively reduce feral cat populations. A University of Florida study lead by Dr. Julie Levy found that spaying or neutering community cats in an area of high animal-control impoundments led to a dramatic decline in the number of cats who were admitted to and euthanized by the local shelter.

“We investigated whether we ever could neuter enough cats to slow their intake into animal control,” said Dr. Julie Levy, the Maddie’s professor of shelter medicine at the Univ. of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. 

The two-year study was conducted in an area of Alachua County adjacent to the University of Florida campus and included a business district, several residential neighborhoods, a mobile home park, two homeless shelters, industrial parks, and a veterinary clinic. During the study, 2,366 community cats were TNR'd, which is estimated to be about 54 percent of the feral cat population in the targeted area. Most of the cats were returned to the site, with some being adopted.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Black Cats Need a Stroke of Luck

A black cat dressed up for the holiday. August 17 is
Black Cat Day.
So often a symbol of misfortune or a superstitious sign of imminent death, black cats themselves have something of a historic case of bad luck.

For a while, things went pretty well for black cats. In ancient Egypt, they were regarded as nearly divine, and it was considered a privilege to share a home with one. Later, everyone from sailors to monarchs seemed to favor black cats in much of the world. They were a sign of luck.

Somewhere along the way, however, fortunes changed. People began to associate black cats with witches, devils, dark magic, and all manner of disreputable subjects often linked to the darker end of the color spectrum. As a result, black cats were murdered, reviled, and burned into public memory as an omen of bad things to come.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Our Kittens Need Your Help!

Lost, a kitten who was found in a drainage pipe 
after a hurricane, warms up on a blanket.
As the weather gets warmer every spring and summer, Alley Cat Rescue takes in dozens of kittens. It’s always a busy time for us as we scramble to take care of the latest litters to come in and prepare them for adoption. And this year has been especially demanding. We’ve received far more kittens than we have in the past, because "kitten season" seems to have started earlier this year, and it continues to hold strong despite summer coming to a close.

This year we’ve taken in more than 60 kittens! We rescue some from shelters where they would otherwise be euthanized, others come from pregnant feral cats who come in through our Trap-Neuter-Return program, and many come from good Samaritans who find kittens in their backyards and neighborhoods.

One kitten, aptly named Lost, was found in a drainage pipe by two construction workers after a hurricane. And three five-week-old siblings -- Hitchcock, Craven, and Carpenter -- were stuck inside the wall of a utility closet at an apartment building! These kittens were old enough to eat solid food and care for themselves; however, some of the kittens who end up in our care, unfortunately, have been abandoned by their mothers at such a young age, they require special care from dedicated staff and foster parents in order to survive.