Report on the trap-neuter-return project in Galeville

 Originally posted on Facebook May 18, 2011

As reported to the Town of Salina Board by Linda Young, May 16, 2011 

  • 25 cats reported, 17 seen and identified by neighbors who are familiar with the colony.
  • Trapping started the last week in April and went on for 2-3 weeks.  Cats were neutered at Spay and Neuter Syracuse or Cats Only Veterinary Hospital.
  • All but two were eartipped.  The veterinarian at SANS forgot to eartip them and all vets advise against putting cats under anesthesia again just for eartipping.
  • Two adults were “trap wise” and could not be caught using the conventional box trap.  Once the caretaker re-establishes a feeding pattern, we can come in with an alternate kind of trap to get them.  At least one of them is male, and adoptable.  We aren’t sure about the other one, but it wasn’t pregnant, so we guess that it’s a male.
  • Because one of the trapped cats was lactating, there may be surviving kittens.  If the caretaker is successful in establishing a feeding pattern, she should see them at the feeding station in about a month, when they can be captured and either socialized, or sterilized and put back out.

Total population:  17  

Total trapped, vaccinated, and sterilized:  15

Number left to trap:  2

Number kept for adoption: 3

Total returned:  12

Total cost to date: $945 

paid by KittyCorner of CNY, Inc.

Cost to finish:  $126 + $63 each for any surviving kittens

Previous expenditures by the Town of Salina at this address: $4500*

Additional benefits:

One tenant was feeding the cats and was in conflict with the property owner over the situation.  Both agreed to TNR, putting an end to the conflict. The tenant was enthusiastic and very helpful because she knew each of the cats and their habits.  She will continue to feed and manage the colony.  The property owner was less enthusiastic, but was willing to help because it would permanently reduce the population.  I don’t know if she was aware, but she was being seen very negatively by some of her neighbors because of the trapping done by the town.  A neighbor on the next street also asked about what I was doing.  He was skeptical about the whole idea of TNR, but after I explained it to him, he told me about the feral cats he was seeing in the neighborhood, and showed me some of the owned cats in the neighborhood so that they wouldn’t be trapped by mistake.  I asked if he was having any problems with the cats, and he told me he was using mothballs as a deterrent.  I told him to contact me if there are any other problems.

A person who knows the cats in the colony and is willing to help with a TNR project is essential in making that project a success.  These people should not fear prosecution for wanting to do the right thing.  In situations where people are feeding feral cats, it is much more beneficial to help them get the animals sterilized than to threaten prosecution.   Correct information is needed when dealing with neighbors both during trapping and for the sake of cooperation in the future.  The more people who are looking out for the colony and any new cats in the area, the better.  Everyone wants a solution.  Most prefer a humane one.

*Property owner’s daughter reports that “about 30” cats have been trapped and removed by the town over the past few years.  Cats left behind simply re-populated the area  over and over again.


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