Trap-neuter-return (“TNR”) for feral cats and San Antonio’s no-kill goal advanced
San Antonio, TX— Friends of Animals (FoA), an internationally known advocacy group, will present the San Antonio Feral Cat Coalition with a $6,000 grant on February 1, 2011, to assist in spaying and neutering the city’s feral cat population.
The all-volunteer San Antonio Feral Cat Coalition is a nonprofit organization that educates the public and promotes a program of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) for abandoned and feral cats.
“We are gratified to have Friends of Animals again join us in our effort to reduce San Antonio’s feral cat population,” said Sherry Derdak, the Coalition’s president. “As a nationwide advocate of affordable spaying and neutering for cats and dogs, Friends of Animals has a record of success, as well as an interest in our community.”
Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals, said: “Abandonment of unaltered cats is a human mistake, and should be resolved by humans using a humane and effective methodology. It’s a community’s responsibility to care, and to act wisely.”
Feral cats are former pets or their offspring, struggling to survive on their own on a human landscape. TNR reduces, and can eventually eliminate, feral cat populations, offering a viable alternative to shelter killings. TNR volunteers locate, trap, sterilize and vaccinate cats before returning them to their original location (or, where possible, securing adoptive homes).
Thousands of abandoned and feral cats are living (and having kittens) in San Antonio. The Coalition will reach 100 of them through this grant, stopping exponential cycles of homelessness.
At the same time, local residents will be urged to report homeless cats to the Coalition, so the cats can be gently trapped and transported to the SpaySA for veterinary procedures.
During surgery, the tip of one ear of each cat is clipped, leaving a permanent mark that identifies a cat as sterile and vaccinated. Then the cat is returned to the colony. Each cat in the group undergoes this process, at a cost of $60 per cat. (The City of San Antonio has spent $75 to $125 per animal to house and systematically kill cats.)
Priscilla Feral learned of San Antonio’s feral cats and the city’s no-kill goal on monthly visits to Primarily Primates, an animal sanctuary in San Antonio. Friends of Animals assumed management of Primarily Primates in May 2007 and has renovated the sanctuary.
“It is a firm commitment of Friends of Animals to stop systematic animal killing in our culture,” said Feral.
For more than 50 years, FoA has operated the leading coast-to-coast cat and dog neutering initiative in the United States. With a network of 900 veterinarians, the organization has provided low-cost procedures for more than 2.5 million cats and dogs to date.
FoA will co-sponsor the No-Kill Conference 2011, to be held at George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC on July 30 & 31, 2011.