Richardson Explains Benefits of Trap-Neuter-Release
MARSHFIELD, WI (OnFocus) – Bree Richardson of Fixing Feisty Felines explains the benefits of TNR.
What is TNR?
In a Trap-Neuter-Return program, community cats are humanely trapped, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, ear-tipped (the universal sign that a community cat has been neutered and vaccinated), and then returned to their outdoor home.
With Trap-Neuter-Return, you can stabilize the population humanely, improve the cats’ lives, save taxpayer dollars, address
neighbors’ concerns, and help the entire community reach a solution that benefits everyone.
• In 2020, Marshfield Area Pet Shelter (MAPS) took in 427 cats, 73% were NOT fixed!
• There are active cat colonies in the City.
• Ordinance Control spends a lot of time responding to stray cats.
• Area communities have seen success with TNR programs, including Rudolph and Wisconsin Rapids
• Altered cats are less of a nuisance (neutering stops yowling, roaming, spraying, and fighting)
Why not remove all cats & place them in homes?
Domestic ‘friendly’ cats can be adopted into homes and MAPS works hard to find homes for these kitties. However, there are many cats that are born outside and never experience human touch. These cats are fearful of people, do not want physical contact with people and prefer the companionship of other cats instead of people. They are accustomed to being outside and cannot adjust to life indoors.
Why don’t you just relocate cats?
Free-roaming cats’ well-being depends on familiarity with their environment – where they eat and safely sleep, know other residents and their patterns, and knowledge of potential threats. If their territory remains largely intact, new cats will simply move in to replace them. In addition, as with indoor homes, far fewer opportunities for relocation exist than cats to fill them.
Isn’t the life of free-roaming cats so horrible that it’s better to kill them?
While risky, just like everyone else’s life, the life for a free-roaming cat doesn’t necessarily have to be a short and harsh one. Humanely managed free-roaming cats can live at least as long as seven years. Provided they are spayed or neutered and provided with food, water and cover, free-roaming domestic cats can live a decent natural life. Kittens are at the most risk of injury and illness, and experts estimate that between 60-75 percent of them die before reaching a year of age.
Don’t cats kill a lot of wildlife?
Some free-roaming domestic cats, including indoor-outdoor pets, will kill wildlife. Reducing the population of free-roaming cats can decrease the stress on wildlife and many wildlife species are greatly stressed by human impacts.
Do I have to worry about getting rabies from a free-roaming cat?
More than 90 percent of all rabid animals reported to Centers for Disease Control each year are wildlife, along the eastern United States primarily raccoons. From 2001 to early 2011, only 29 cases of rabies in humans were reported to the CDC. Rabies vaccinations are given to all free roaming cats that are spayed and neutered through our low-cost vets.
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