These last couple of weeks have been busy ones. Let's see, we had National Feral Cat weekend, and mobile clinics in Avondale and Buckeye. All this while trying to make October our biggest month ever - TNR'ing over 1,000 feral cats.
The photo to the right is of cats in Avondale before the trapping.
Saturday 10/16 and Sunday 10/17
We did 191 cats during this Feral Cats Day weekend - just shy of the target of 200 cats. This was at four different clinics. I trapped a total of 21 cats for 10/16. There were two clinics on 10/16 and two on 10/17. This required a lot of scheduling and, of course trapping. We were now on target for over 1,000 cats in October.
Sunday 10/17 - Friday 10/22
I caught three more cats overnight and took them to the Tempe clinic on Sunday, 10/17. I released cats at all three locations that morning before heading to Tempe where I waited to collect the cats after surgery (trying to save myself another trip).
Monday, 10/18, began taking stragglers from the Tempe clinic on 10/17 to the vet. These cats would be released at two locations on 10/19 before heading to Avondale in the afternoon to trap and transport at four locations. I'd be releasing the last three cats fixed that day. The Healing Hearts mobile was helping us spay and neuter cats in outlying areas. We had decided to focus on Avondale and Buckeye as there were many caregivers waiting for assistance. This week it would be Avondale. The mobile was parking at Grant's shop in N. Phoenix and we'd be hauling the cats in to town. We ended up with a total of 59 cats from Avondale and Cashion (a place I never knew existed!). Traps were set overnight at three locations and Suzie would be driving there in the morning to pick up the stragglers (most traps were filled!). Then, the rain started but fortunately were were able to hold the cats inside. All told we did 62 cats that day on the mobile - trying to stay dry. Thank you Grant for letting the mobile park at your shop.
We hauled the cats to my garage for aftercare and headed back to Avondale to trap again that night. We caught more cats in Avondale that night and over night. This was a total of 50 cats from the one caregiver. Every single cat had been fixed. We released all 59 cats at the four locations and I headed back to the mobile this time parked in E. Phoenix with 13 cats We had spayed and neutered a total of 72 cats on this what would be end up being a four day adventure. These 13 cats would be picked up and after cared and released on Friday.
Thank you Healing Hearts for helping us fix all these cats. You are the best!
Sunday 10/24 - Tuesday 10/26
I worked at the regular Sunday clinic in Tempe this week. The clinic was overbooked as usual so we can fill up every available spot. Well, much to our surprise, we had 20 cats too many. I'd be hauling these 20 cats to the vet on Monday, 10/25. The vet was smiling when I got there. There were a total of 27 cats at the clinic in N. Phoenix on Monday and he was happy to see them. These 20 cats would need to be after cared and released in the AM.
After releasing the 20 cats back, cleaning out the traps, and delivering them to the trapper, it was time to wash my own traps in preparation for the next exciting adventure in Buckeye (thank you Bill). We had arranged for the mobile to go to Buckeye to spay and neuter what would end up being a total of 70 cats (and eight dogs!). This one would be a real challenge. The location of about 20+ miles south of the I-10 past Rainbow Valley. Talk about the end of the road...and it was a dirt road too. However, it was navigable. Clearly this was a dumping group for unwanted cats and dogs. There were many abandoned homes and dairies too. This felt like the "back of beyond"...or the end of nowhere. We had about 55 traps on board figuring kittens could be doubled up.
As we drove up we say a lot of dogs too all isolated in large pens. A lot of the cats were also confined in large enclosures to protect them not only from each other (breeding) but from coyotes. We arrived early as it would be a long drive home that night. We managed to trap most of the cats and the caregivers would handle the overnight trapping allowing us to leave shortly after dusk. The mobile was to arrive around 7:00 AM the next day and we wanted to be there before they got there.
The mobile arrived at 7:00 AM. We were already there with cats ready to be loaded on the van. When the vet saw all the un-sterilized dogs, she said "we have to fix them too". So in between fixing 69 cats that day they managed to fix eight dogs as well for a total of 77 animals. They left at 5:30 PM and hardly took a break all day. The caregiver made us lunch, wonderful vegetarian chili, as we trapped during the day and loaded and unloaded cats off the mobile. The caregiver did managed to catch one more cat on Thursday and brought in into town to be fixed on Friday for a total of 70 cats TNR'd at this location. This was a clear example of what happens when TNR is not done right away before things get seriously out of control. Animal abandonment certainly contributed to this problem as well as the remoteness of the property. My experience in recent months makes we fell there are more than the one million estimated free-roaming cats in Maricopa County according to most recent estimates.
Friday/Saturday 10/29 and 10/30
I could not resist extra vet slots on Saturday morning so we trapped on Friday night. I'd been to this place before and trapped over 20 cats so my expectation were rather low. We ended up trapping only three cats overnight but the clinic still had 27 cats that day.
I worked at the Tempe clinic that day - the last day of October. That night I'd be trapping in downtown Phoenix (a first!) making it as long day but a nice end to a long month. We did make our 1,000 cat goal for October and I'd trapped 224 of them. I was on track to trap over 2,000 cats in 2010.
Now is the time to do TNR. Kitten season is approaching. All those beautiful Tortie and calico cats, the true breeding machines, are asking for your help. I can hear them all saying; " please do not let us have yet another litter". They ALL need your help now!
To sign up for the Spay Neuter Hotline'sTNR program please call: 602-265-7729 (SPAY) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, please consider a tax-deductible donation to ADLA. Just $25.00 will help fix one free-roaming cat. Thanks for your support!