National Feral Cat Day Sweeps the Nation
October 16, 2010 was our biggest National Feral Cat Day yet! Here is just a sampling of the 170 events held all over the country in celebration of National Feral Cat Day 2010.
Local activists rallied at the Capitol Building, waving signs reading “Honk if your cat is eartipped” and “If you feed ‘em, fix ‘em” to help get the word out about feral cats and Trap-Neuter-Return.
“Our goals were really just to plant that little seed of information that will hopefully spark curiosity and questions, motivate research, stimulate [people] to volunteer and get involved…and lastly to open the door for those feeding stray and feral cats to know there are other options and that TNR is humane and it works,” said Kerry Hyde, founder and volunteer with Tallahassee-based TNR group It’s Meow or Never for Ferals.
Using Alley Cat Allies' high-volume clinic model and quick-spay techniques, the Fauquier SPCA neutered 108 cats on National Feral Cat Day 2010.
“We [trapped] three colonies of cats the day before [the clinic] and weighed and tagged all 40 of them and left them in one of our buildings overnight. By getting a jump start, we were able to avoid the congestion caused by everyone arriving at about the same time with their trapped feral [cats] and were finished by 1:30 p.m.,” said Judith Hagerman, Executive Director of the Fauquier SPCA.
The Fauquier SPCA uses its own in-house clinic, committed volunteer veterinarians, and funding from donors to improve the lives of as many feral cats as possible all year round. In addition to holding multiple big clinic days like the one held on National Feral Cat Day, four or so feral cats are neutered each week free of charge by the shelter veterinarian Dr. Monica Chapman.
“Since the inception of the program, the shelter has sterilized more than 1,500 cats and consequently drastically reduced the numbers of feral [cats] brought to the shelter each year,” says Caroline Folker, the organization’s community relations manager.
Sussex County, Delaware
When Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary in Nassau and Faithful Friends Animal Shelter in Wilmington, Delaware proposed a National Feral Cat Day Proclamation to Governor Jack Markell, he agreed, declaring October 16 National Feral Cat Day across the state.
“I think it’s always important to try to elevate the status of cats, especially feral and community cats. And something like this really does,” said Anne Gryczon, Executive Director of Safe Haven.
On the same day as the event to celebrate the proclamation, Safe Haven conducted a spay/neuter clinic sponsored by the Owen Family Foundation where 20 were neutered and then returned to their outdoor home.
On October 6, 2010, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed HR952, recognizing October 16 as National Feral Cat Day and calling upon the people of Pennsylvania “to participate in the spaying and neutering of feral and stray cats in their neighborhood.”
As Anita Frullani of PAWS of PA said, “We feel it is a great tool that we can use and do use to convince the public, local municipalities, trailer park management, etc. to support Trap-Neuter-Return. The more people that see the…resolution, the more they will become curious, [and] do some research. Our hope is that they discover their “Aha!” moment.
Read the resolution encouraging TNR in Pennsylvania.
Las Vegas, Nevada
The Las Vegas Valley Humane Society (LVVHS) works closely with the Heaven Can Wait Animal Society to spay/neuter 15,000 cats and dogs each year. In honor of National Feral Cat Day, they held their fifth feral cat clinic of the year, providing traps and assistance to a community of caregivers and subsidizing surgery fees for 69 cats.
In existence since 1991, the LVVHS serves a large community of caregivers and trappers. “It doesn’t take long to fill up the clinic!” said Karen Layne, president of the LVVHS.
“For this organization, spaying and neutering…is critically important as part of reducing the number of cats going into shelters—about 26,000 a year,” says Layne.
Milmay, New Jersey
New Jersey-based group The Animal Friends Foundation (AFF) observed National Feral Cat Day by fundraising and collecting food to help defray costs for colony caregivers. The group’s mission is to offer low-cost spay/neuter and support and fund TNR projects in the south Jersey area.
Karen Levy, vice president of AFF, said the group started in 2003 to increase TNR in their community. “We had all seen the growing numbers of animals brought into local shelters, knowing full well that the majority would never find a forever home. Our many experiences through volunteering revealed [that] a link to saving animals’ lives (especially cats) was missing,” said Levy.
On October 16, AFF volunteers set up food drives at three local businesses, while Levy and her dog Tucker represented the effort at the“Shop for a Cause” promotion held by a local Macy’s department store.