Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Help Feral Cats

I'm feeling no pain waking up from surgery
One Saturday a month during the cool seasons of the year, Voices for Animals coordinates the Feral Cat Clinic held at the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA to spay and neuter approximately 100 cats in 8 hours.  Ferals are cats that can not be handled by humans and require trapping in order to be safely caught.

--- A female cat continuously cycles in and out of heat and can get pregnant while nursing a litter so spaying is the humane way to control feral cat populations.  Otherwise you can guarantee continual births of babies in the wild time after time after time. ---

Your ears are fifie dirty!
This is my second year of volunteering for the Feral Cat program.  The clinics have been run for so many years that it is a very structured and organized effort.  Some volunteers have participated season after season and are pros.  Most volunteers work "hands on" at various surgery "stations" such as prep, pre-surgery, fluids, medications, and recovery. 

Other volunteers provide support by trapping and returning the cats back to where they originated or bringing in food for the volunteers.  Mass quantities of delicious vegan dishes magically appear each morning and continue through lunch.  Seventy volunteers have to be fed throughout the 8 hour (+/-) surgery day.  Approximately five vets perform the surgeries along with licensed techs and other trained staff.

The program addresses a community need by controlling cat populations in order to help these animals which may otherwise never receive vet care.  If an injury is discovered the cat is treated or patched up.  All cats are vaccinated for rabies and distemper and are humanely sterilized, undergoing the same surgery protocol found in any veterinarian hospital.

Just a few trapped cats - cages are covered to reduce stress
You may be asking, why not just permanently remove the cats?  This has been studied and once you remove the cats, more cats come into the community and set up camp, restarting the cycle once again.  Working in a shelter, I can promise you that euthanizing feral cats does nothing to control the population.  The same people would bring in cats year after year, never relieving themselves of cats!  The proven solution is to stay on top of the situation and get them fixed and release them back where you found them.

If you know of a cat that is roaming in the Charlottesville area and may need to be fixed OR if you can help volunteer, please contact Voices for Animals.  They are eager to help guide you through the process and help a feral in need!  


For Southwest Virginia Readers, Spay Clinics in your area:  Pulaski County, Montgomery County

1 comment:

  1. Way to go! Still fighting the good fight!

    That bank of cat traps looks like our sallypory on feral clinic day, except WAY more crowded!


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