Targeted efforts to spay/neuter feral cats dramatically reduce euthanasia and cat overpopulation!

An intensive effort to sterilize feral cats reduced the number of felines taken to an animal shelter in Florida and euthanized, a new study reveals.

“We investigated whether we ever could neuter enough cats to slow their intake into animal control,” Dr. Julie Levy, a professor of shelter medicine at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, said in a university news release.

“Neutering a few cats here and there wasn’t making a big impact,” she explained, “so we wanted to pick a focused area and throw all our resources into it.”

The program was conducted in an area of Alachua County with a large population of feral cats. The researchers trapped and sterilized more than 2,300 feral cats, or about 54 percent of the estimated population of feral cats in the targeted area. After neutering, the cats were returned to their original location or adopted.

The number of cats taken to the local animal shelter fell 70 percent after the neutering program—from 13 to 4 cats per 1,000 residents. Euthanasia of cats decreased 95 percent—from 8 to less than 1 per 1,000 residents, the researchers said.

In the rest of the county, the number of cats brought into shelters fell 13 percent (from 16 to 14 per 1,000 residents) and the number of cats euthanized declined 30 percent (from 10 to 7 per 1,000 residents), according to the study recently published in the Veterinary Journal.

“The figures were incredible as were the adoptions,” Levy said. “Adoption wasn’t part of the original plan, but it happened organically as residents offered to take in kittens and the friendlier adults.”

Researchers tell us that this type of targeted sterilization could slow the birth rates, and therefore save the lives of millions of cats, other animals who are euthanized each year in shelters across the United States.

 
 

National expo for people who do rescue work – story from an attendee!

When our good friend and Cat Faeries ambassador Angela Giannini White told us about an Expo just for people who do animal rescue we knew we wanted a story for our customers and readers. This year the expo was held in Las Vegas and because of that great location the attendance was the highest ever. So much networking took place and attendees got to see the latest and greatest of supplies to help shelters and rescued animals. We know that you’ll want to go next year, or in the future, if you rescue cats or other animals, of if you plan to. This expo is ideal for anyone who’s involved with fostering or who is passionate about TNR. It’s an annual event so plan now for next year! In 2017 it will be held in Ft. Lauderdale.


Animal Care Expo 2016

by Angela Giannini

Board of Directors – Marketing and Communications

Cats Valley Shelter & Sanctuary

This was my first experience with the Humane Society annual Conference which was held this year at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas. This expo is for animal rescues, shelters, foster programs, animal medication, volunteers, sanctuaries, and TNR groups. There was a record attendance of 2,300 animal lovers and their 25th year of this expo. Next year this event will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I and three other board members of Cats Valley Shelter and Sanctuary felt it essential that we attend since we are starting a new nonprofit no kill cat shelter and sanctuary in the Bay Area.

Topics were about horses, dogs & cats. Focus this year was on the following, how to Adoption Welcome (increase adoptions), Animal Rescue, Medical Volunteer Programs, Smart TNR, Cat friendly communities, Engaging Volunteers, Humane Society International, Reaching the Underserved, Leadership & Keeping Pets in Homes.

Each day there was ample time to network with fellow animal lovers and we found many cat rescues, foster only programs and shelters willing to share their knowledge and to be future resources for us. Everyone was happy and eager to learn what innovative ideas are working to help get more animals in homes and removing barriers like requiring people to prove they have permission from their landlord to have a pet in their home.

One day during the lunch we heard a tiny kitten meowing and we all went over to view the bottle babies being fed. It was like bee’s to honey moment. Here is a photo of Nathalie Cowan our Board President of Cats Valley with one of the bottle babies.

In the exhibit hall you could obtain information on cleaning supplies, micro chipping, shelter design, pet insurance, fundraising and grants. We actually got a $1,000 grant at the event and won $2,000 towards a fundraiser. Some of the cat related exhibitors were Alley Cat Allies, Million Cat Challenge, and Tree House Humane.

Here is Bonnie Breaux our CFO winning money towards a future fundraiser, Derby Duck Wheel.

One of the sessions spoke about the importance of design of your shelter, making it open, clean, and inviting. Better visibility for your animals and assigning a volunteer to show them where the animals are, which makes it less confusing for your adopters. Creating comfortable areas for people to fill out paperwork and to obtain more information. Celebrating each adoption by announcing it over a loud speaker and following up with the adopter the next day. All these will ideas will help Cats Valley start out with using best practices to facilitate Cats Valley to be a premier place for people’s cat adoption needs and be a resource for the community.

To learn more about the Animal Care Expo and save the date for next year here is the link – https://www.animalsheltering.org/expo

Here is a photo of Board of Directors Bonnie Breaux, Natalie Cowan & Kory Stendell (Angela Giannini was the photographer)

 
 

Meet the Feral Cats of Disneyland. More “cats on the job!”

A few years ago we heard that Disneyland in Anaheim, CA had and actually cared for about 200 feral cats who keep the theme park free of rodents.

Cats roaming Disneyland were discovered in the 1950’s. Rather than “get rid of them” the park decided to house and care for them so they could help keep the park clear of mice and rats.

All of the cats are part of the program we know as TNR – Trap Neuter Release. The tipped left ear is what tells you that the cat has been spayed or neutered, and is part of a feral colony.

During the day these cats are kept from the public in special cat ranch hidden on the property. At night they come out to hunt and play! But sometimes one or two sneak out and make themselves seen. This home video shows one of them being fed a few scraps of food at the park’s Hungry Bear Restaurant:

This LA Times article from May 2, 2012 by Hugo Martin tells us all about them!

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/may/02/business/la-fi-cover-disney-20100502

Someone known as Aunt Peaches writes about the cats too

http://www.auntpeaches.com/2013/08/the-feral-cats-of-disneyland.html

PS: The Disneyland feral cats are specifically told not to bother these two mice…


Do you know of any “working cats” in your community?

We’d love to hear about them and we’ll print your story!

Submit it to: catfaeries@catfaeries.com

Subject line to read: My story: cats on the job

We’ll send you 4 catnip toys if we use your story!

How To Help Feral Cats This Winter

Winter is a cold and potentially dangerous time of year for feral and homeless cats, whether or not a polar vortex is pushing arctic air into your neighborhood. Here’s some ways to help.

Alley Cat Allies is a national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of feral cats (www.alleycat.org). You may have seen their “I’m an alley cat ally” ads featuring Hollywood personalities including Portia De Rossi. Alley Cat Allies has posted a good article on how to help feral cats during the winter at www.alleycat.org/WinterWeather.

Another way to help is to contact one of your local feral cat organizations. Alley Cat Allies has a posted a contact form at www.alleycat.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=1452 so they can connect you with an organization in your area that is a member of their Feral Friends Network. They also have a National Cat Help Desk that you can contact via www.alleycat.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=1453.

You can also find local feral cat assistance groups by doing search via Google for “feral cat (insert your city or area).” Contact your local group and ask how you can help.

One of the best ways to help feral and homeless cats during the winter is to provide shelters to keep them warm and out of the weather. Here’s a great video on how to make a simple low cost shelter from a plastic tote box. It even includes a cute cat helper providing supervision.

Everyone loved the article we posted about the Boy Scout who built winterized boxes to house feral cats in his community. You liked it so much that we searched for blueprints for something similar you crafty folks could make your own. Here are some plans for a larger “Feral Cat Condo” from a Michigan animal rescue group – www.voiceless-mi.org/plans/

So get out there and help feral cats this winter. You may make some new friends – both human and feline.

Israel commits $1.3 million to Trap/Neuter/Release street cats

What wonderful news! Let’s hope this plan inspires countries and cities all over the world to do the same. The life of a street cat is brutal. Depending on circumstances such as weather and climate, a street cat’s life expectancy is just a few years. And those are generally years of hunger and misery. And more kittens, thus more and more street cats. The cycle can easily be broken.

http://www.care2.com/causes/israel-will-trap-neuter-and-return-45000-street-cats.html

“My female housecat isn’t spayed and I don’t see why I should do it.” The Wizard of Veterinary Medicine will tell you why, and with humor.

Good golly, it still amazes us that in 2013 we still need to have this conversation about spaying. Dr. Richard Orzeck, DVM who calls himself Dr. Oz the Wizard of Veterinary Medicine tells us why it’s vital to spay a female cat and he’s funny about it too. We are presenting two of his articles, one which is very funny, and one which is more scientific. Both are well done and informative, you’ll enjoy both and if you have friends who need coaxing about spaying, please forward this newsletter.


The funny version:

http://www.worldsvet.com/unspayed_diseases.html

The scientific version:

http://worldsvet.wordpress.com/2008/04/11/pyometria-ovarian-and-breast-cancer-diseases-of-un-spayed-dogs-and-cats/