When Local Community S/N Resources Aren’t Enough
HIYA! SAVANNAH HERE!
I sure do hope you aren’t gettin’ tired of me reportin” on my Mom L and the efforts she has been making lately to help all the community cats she can in our county in California. We live in Contra Costa County in Northern California.
Unfortunately, as with many parts of the good ole US of A, not a lot of local governments believe they have any accountability to help the small hard working, mostly all volunteer, cat rescues do diddly about the trapping, spay and neuter and return to caregiver programs. You know it as TNR. The most critical component of any TNR program for any size privately funded rescue is the availability of low cost, high volume, spay and neuter clinics. My county doesn’t have any. Period. That’s it. None. And at last count we had about 170,000 community cats in my county compared to our neighbor, Sacramento county, who has about 70,000. And THEY have a very excellent low cost, high volume spay and neuter clinic, publicly funded.
In fact, Sacramento SPCA accepts some community cats from a few of my county’s zip codes into their S/N clinic for only $17 USD per cat. And my county supervisor could care less. Dad P talked with her. She just says “how nice of them”. She feels no shame in the fact that my county’s small under funded private cat rescues are shouldering the brunt of the county’s governmental accountability for managing and humanely controlling our community cats population. Go figure!!!
Fast forward to Mom L’s adventure last weekend. Outcast Cat Help (OCH) where Mom L volunteers as Feline Express™ Driver, had a call from San Francisco, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SFSPCA). Privately funded. They offered OCH FORTY free SPAY/NEUTER surgeries over a two weekend period in April, 2016. WOO HOO!!
BUT—there is always that “
BUTT BUT”—right??!! The community cats had to first be trapped! And then transported from our county across the San Francisco Bay to SFSPCA.
As they say in Hollywood—”WHO YA GONNA CALL?? ” In this case, OCH asked for “rides” for the trapped community cats and of course Mom L held her
paw hand up high. And then she thought—”How in Ceiling Cat’s name will I get a bunch of cat traps WITH cats in my Toyota 4Runner??” And make that one hour drive to and from SFSPCA without having kitty pee drip on my car mats??
Line the back area with plastic garbage bags, then add layer of cardboard boxes to absorb the kitty pee odor, then add another layer of garbage bags, topped with old beach towels to prevent kitty pee from “sloshing”.
Mom L picked the community cats up at about 6:30 AM/PDST. It was a harsh early morning for all involved. One of her rescue pals, Ms Carol, joined Mom L on this early AM adventure.
Can you guess how many cats in traps Mom L had to get into her cargo space? Let’s look at loading.
Well, well, well—FIVE more cats in traps. What’ya gonna do? Why of course! Get those last four cats into SMALLER traps. Easy, right? Remember, all the cats are very feral. Terrified and not able to be touched.
Ms Julie from OCH is a master at transferring these feral cats from a large trap to a smaller trap. And as she always says—”never touch the cats!”
WOO HOO!! Cats moved at last minute into smaller traps. Let the final loading begin. And just tell me in comments how many cat you think Mom L and OCH got into her cargo area??
Cats arrive at SFSPCA—
Here is the incredible surgery facility where our X number of community cats will be S/N, treated for fleas, worms, ear mites and vaccinated.
And then Mom L and Dad P joined up to bring the kitties back to Contra Costa County. They were released back to the homes from where they were trapped.
And of course there was that final loading. And remember, Dad P had not been present for the first loading so only Mom L knew how to get all those cats in traps back into her SUV.
All cats fit even better the second time around!!
One last HUGE learning Mom L had from this experience. Eleven of the “X” number of cats came from the same “home”. Basically, this site is a cat hoarder, meaning a human who intends good for the cats, but takes in so many, they cannot care adequately for any of them. The cats from this site were so flea infested, that once they received Revolution treatment, the dead fleas and flea feces fell off of them in hours. Enough to look like sweeping up sand from a beach. Mom L had to ask the SFSPCA staff to verify that the blood soaked trap covers were not the cats’ bleeding from surgery. It was, in fact, worse.
These cats were so flea infested that once the Revolution was applied, the dead fleas and flea feces dropped off onto the paper in their traps and then the cats had to urinate, and their urine caused the flea debris to “bleed”. Mom L has not yet been able to get that image driven from her mind.
SPAY, NEUTER!! AND WORK VERY HARD TO INFLUENCE YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO FUND HIGH VOLUME, LOW COST SPAY NEUTER CLINICS.