Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hooray for No New Kittens (Yes, Really!)

Sorry little buddies, but the cage is your home 'til you're all big enough for surgery and adoption.
Those of us in the animal rescue and welfare community know that Spring and Summer are when most kittens are born. Shelters fill up quickly with new kittens who need homes, and are often pushed to the limit of how many cats they can care for. Alley Cat Rescue and our foster volunteers have taken in about 50 kittens this season, and one litter of four even being born at our shelter.

But for Spay Neuter Kingston Initiative (SNKI), which manages 50 colonies in Kingston, Ontario, this kitten season has almost been a relative vacation. They had no kittens born in their managed colonies and zero population growth for the first time since beginning a TNVR (Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return) program in 2009. The group was also able to spay or neuter more than 250 cats, preventing even more kittens from being born. This is concrete proof that Trap-Neuter-Return is an effective way to stop feral cat reproduction and address cat overpopulation. We congratulate them on their success!

It is a sad truth that most cats euthanized at shelters are ferals, and this includes countless kittens. Joanne Boudreau, TNVR coordinator for SNKI, wrote to us that, "We still have a major cat overpopulation problem in the area, cats and kittens are being dumped ... and we are constantly hearing [of] - and being contacted - by people who don't want to bring their cats/kittens down to the local humane society because they euthanize." 

Shelters often do not have the resources to bottle-feed very young kittens or house those not ready for surgery, which unfortunately is why they are euthanized. Spaying and neutering would help address the overpopulation problem, but Boudreau said that there are no low-cost spay/neuter services in the Kingston area.

Mom & eight kittens in ACR foster care.

Please donate today! Your contributions help ACR and our foster volunteers care for kittens like these until they're big enough for spay/neuter and adoption. (And mom will get spayed too. Eight is enough, dear!) 

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We at Alley Cat Rescue don't see young age as an appropriate reason for euthanasia, which is why we do whatever is necessary to care for kittens until they are ready for sterilization and adoption. Our work, and that of SNKI, prove that TNR, in conjunction with low-cost spay/neuter, and plenty of volunteer and financial support, can put a stop to overpopulation. Please consider donating today so that we can continue to do right by feral cats and kittens during this busy time of year when the amount of work to be done is especially challenging. We are truly grateful for your support!

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