Sometimes the best solution for a particular situation is not just TNR or taking cats into our adoption program; often, it is necessary to combine the forces of several of our programs to offer the best solution to the cats - we want to do what is right for them. And each time, we rise to the challenge!
To help the cats of Homestead, we utilized our Feral Cat Education/Assistance, Barn/Garden Program, Alter and Alley Cat Program, and Adoption Program. We received a desperate plea for help from a family living in the Homestead trailer park. This family had an estimated 30 cats swarming to their house on a daily basis for food and, once again, trailer park management had called animal control for another sweep (and guaranteed euthanasia) of these relentless breeding machines. We initially went out and assessed the situation, but had no money to spay/neuter 30 cats. A few weeks later, we had the funds to spay/neuter at least most of the cats, thanks to one of our most dedicated donors. By that time, there were at least six pregnant cats. As we quickly began our work to stop the population explosion, we vetted and then rehomed 12 cats to barn homes before returning some back in the neighborhood, where they would continue to be fed by the family that initially contacted us. One night as we arrived we found one of the momma cats on the front porch in labor. We quickly prepared a trap with a cardboard lining and while she was taking a break from birthing the second and third kitties, we slipped her and her babies into the trap where she had her third baby, and later that night in a bathtub at the foster mom's house, she birthed her fourth. Over the next few days, we played a game of hide and seek with other mommy cats and kittens. A couple of kittens were found under the trailer near the foundation and we also found a litter of kittens in the insulation under the trailer. All in all, over 25 adult cats were spayed/neutered and 16 kittens were taken into our adoption program from this situation.
To help the cats at a local prison, our feral cat education and assistance/TNR program, Alter an Alley Cat adoption programs worked together to provide the best solution for the cats. After receiving a request for help for a friendly mama cat and her five kitten and two other kittens born inside prison gates, we sprang into action. We took the mama cat and all seven kittens into our adoption program and then set out to get permission to TNR the feral cats at the prison so they would no longer add to the overpopulation problem. The prison superintendent was agreeable to letting the cats stay on premise, but the cats had to be spayed/neutered and vaccinated and the state could not pay for it. Through generous donations, we raised money to cover the cost of TNRing the feral cats at the prison. The inmates were happy when we brought the first set of cats back and helped us each time we were there to catch more. It’s a win-win situation: the cats no longer have to fear animal control, the inmates enjoy the cats, and the cats keep down the mice and bugs. To date, we took in 12 kittens from the prison, 1 friendly mama cat, and TNR’d 13 cats.