The Animal Rights blog at Change.org has just posted the first of many posts by Mary Martin, a feral cats activist. Martin started her own TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) program in West Palm Beach after learning that existing operations had closed doors due to lack of funds. I can’t wait for her future posts, including how to start a TNR program in your own community.
I’ve written about Alley Cat Allies in a previous post awhile back, and readers will know that feral cats are a very important topic for me. From about 1999 to 2006 my family had a fairly large population of feral cats living in our 2 1/2 acre yard. We loved the hell out of those cats, fed them, gave them clean water, and played with the ones that were brave enough to allow us to get close to them. But we also saw the problems (on a small scale, of course) that an uncontrolled population of feral cats can have. The main issues are inbreeding and lack of adequate food. I hated that even though we gave them food, the more aggressive cats wound up eating the most. Sometimes we would take the smaller cats and give them their own little secret stash of food. I wish I had known about TNR back then. Here are some pictures of our cats:
My other (huge) regret is that after our house burnt down in 2006, we couldn’t feed them anymore. So we (ugh) called PETA, whose office is in Norfolk, VA, not far from where we live. I knew that they euthanized sick and injured animals, but at the time I had no idea that they killed healthy animals too. It haunts me that I essentially killed these cats without realizing it at the time.
I’ve realized that many people don’t understand that feral cats actually enjoy their lives. Most people see a feral cat and want to take it home with them or take it to a shelter because it’s homeless. In fact, my favorite poster from Allie Cat Allies is this one:
Trap-Neuter-Release is a great program to let feral cats enjoy their lives outdoors without the problems associated with overpopulation. And it’s a completely no-kill solution!