11 March 2010
15:52 | Posted by phreephallin | Edit Post
This is my story and I'm sticking to it!
I started volunteering at the NSPCA in the fall of 2008. There were a large number of feral cats living around the shelter and at several other colonies located between Decatur/Arville and Russell/Hacienda. In the spring of 2009, I saw an ever increasing number of kittens and juveniles roaming around. I quickly made the connection between these feral cats breeding out of control, the overburdened NSPCA shelter, and the high number of cats being surrendered and euthanized in Las Vegas annually. I learned about the county's 10.06 ordinance and another volunteer and I decided to Trap Neuter Return the cats ourselves. We methodically catalogued the cats, where they were being fed and made contacts with the caretakers and property owners. Between 4 different sites, nearly 90 cats roamed and fed from an ample supply of food! Borrowing traps we captured and sterilized 3 cats for the July 2009 HCWS feral clinic.
By Oct of 2009, we had trapped some sixty cats from around the area. A couple had been previously sterilized. Six were fostered, then sterilized and eventually adopted. The other 54 cats who were trapped and released pushed the local sterilization rate to what I estimate to be over 60%. Between Oct. and Feb, we sterilized an additional 20 cats in the area pushing the rate above 80%. I only know of 4 kittens in the areas colonies which survived since Oct. Three were trapped and sterilized and one was rescued by a person who works in the area. I believe this demonstrates why TNR is effective. Yes, there were two mothers left producing kittens, and newcomers move in from other areas, but they and their offspring have to compete with the existing 60 - 70 sterilized cats for food and habitat.
Had we removed more of these cats, but not removed the food sources, the remaining cats would have had less competition and would have breed more prolifically to close the gap. The cat population in the area is noticably less than it was last summer. I hope to see far less if not zero litters of kittens finding their way into the NSPCA or Lied from this area this spring and summer. I also hope that this demonstrates that a small group of people can have a large impact on the number of kittens being born in an area in a relatively short time through targeted Trap Neuter Return.
My goal as President of the newly formed group, Community Cat Coalition of Clark County, or 'C5', is to educate and inform and more people to help themselves with feral cat issues. We hold a biweekly Introduction to TNR class at the HCWS clinic on Sat, from 12-2 PM to inform people, mostly colony caretakers about local cat ordinances and how to humanely and safely, trap, stage and transport cats.