Pam's TNR Blog - Week of 11/1/2009
I had set up a big trapping job for a caregiver in Phoenix needing assistance. Cats were to be fixed in Gilbert the next day, Sunday, 11/1. This was "Make a Differerence Day", and a clinic was sponoring a special event - a free S/N clinic for cats and dogs. All the cats would be ferals and all would be cats from the our TNR program - cats whose caregivers needed financial assistance.
I already had two cats for the clinic on Sunday in my garage (the leftovers from last week's trapping). This new job was for about 20-25 cats. I ended up with 24 cats plus the two from last week for a total of 26 cats for the special event. I was not able to set traps overnight due to the long trek to south Gilbert in the AM (back on the 202 eastbound once again!). Many of you know I'll go anywhere to get cats fixed - especially for free! There were a total of 27 ferals and I volunteered at the clinic all day. The SNH supplied the spay packs and spay boards which also had to be transported. That night I'd be back at the caregiver's house to finish the job catching 15 more cats overnight for a total of 39 cats at this location. So much for having 20-25 cats in this colony.
I want to thank the Arizona Animal Wellness Center (AAWC) in Gilbert for sponsoring this event and helping fix 27 feral cats for the SNH. Thanks go out to Dr. Parva, Dr. Ford and her staff and volunteers for their kindness. They also fixed 16 dogs that day for those in need. You can visit their website here.
Well, if having 26 cats for aftercare plus setting another 20 traps that night was not enough, Suzie had 16 cats left over from the clinic in Tempe that day. All of these cats would need to be fed and watered as well. So we met at my place and unloaded and fed 41 cats.
Suzie and I were off to two vets in the early AM. Fortunately the 16 cats left over from 11/1 would go back to the caregiver for aftercare as I had another trapping job that night within view of the one on Satuday night. I must say this was living proof that colonies can live side by side and not interact in any way. I'd been to this location twice before not knowing there were nearly 40 cats living less than 200 yards away! I caught nine there that night and overnight. The nice thing was I could release the other crew right nearby. I always try to plan these jobs to save on travel time and gas. It does not often work out that way but I try.
I took the nine cats to the vet in the AM and after pickup I set off to try to drop-trap the last female (of course). Suzie and Barbara were on a big job nearby. I was able to drop-trap her almost immediately while hiding in my car next to a heavily traveled street. Normally transfer is pretty easy but this one would not cooperate. I called Suzie and Barbara to come over and help me transfer the cat to the trap. Voila! She went in almost immediately. I call these quick trappings from the car, "drive-by drop-trappings". This is an appropriate name for this technique and it has proved useful throughout the years, especially when one is in a hurry. We then went to dinner to celebrate our success. I then left for home while the dynamic duo set off to finish that what ended up being a 17 cat job over a two day period.
We again ended up at two vets on Thursday once again and had the usual aftercare at my place. I had helped in the release of Suzie's cats as well. Her caregiver set traps that night and caught another seven cats - all except for the breeding mother cat. Darn it! These cats had to be split up between two vets as the slower relief vet was at our usual hangout. Some people hang out at bars and movie theaters - we hang out at vet offices. I'm not complaining. It's where I'd rather be - with LOTs of cats.
After dropping off cats it was off to set up for the three-day yard sale. We had collected a ton of stuff in the fall and stored it in a warehouse in anticipation of this huge weekend event. We also had collected loads more stuff and had been picking it up over the last couple of weeks. All had to be unpacked and sorted for sale on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Suzie did a lot of the organizing as did Linda Brock whose organization, The Litter League" was partnering with us on the yard sale. The sale was at Linda's house and we had lots of volunteers helping with sorting and selling over that weekend. I'd like to thank all of them for thir time and effort especially Linda, for use of her place for the sale. We raised nearly $3,000.00 total for both groups. The Litter League finds homes for kittens from feral moms and does a lot of TNR through the SNH. Linda has always been a big supporter of ADLA and the SNH.
After sorting all day I had another "high-end" trapping job at the hospital. I sat with my dropper trying to trap one cat for several hours to no avail. I was skunked. Then I found food had been placed out! What a bummer. Since the caregiver was donating a lot it was worth the effort. As I said I take on these "high-end" jobs to try and help the cats being cared for by the less fortunate. It is always a trade off but unfortunately it never quite balances out as there are so many of the latter out there waiting to be fixed. Kitten season is just around the corner and these cats need to be fixed now.
This is why we need your help. Please consider being a monthly donor to ADLA. Almost 100% of donations go to spay and neuter as ADLA has very low overhead. We have a great group of dedicated volunteers who work hard to keep our costs down. Or, consider having a small fundraiser to raise money for TNR. We all can make a difference in the lives of feral cats.
11/6 and 11/7
Friday and Saturday were devoted to the yard sale and then Saturday night I had a trapping job for 20 cats for the Tempe clinic on Sunday...part of next week's blog.
Thanks again to everyone who made the yard sale a success. We plan to have another one early next year so stay tuned and start cleaning out your closets...