|Purred: Sat Mar 14, '09 11:03am PST |
|Hi Yang (In Loving Memory)
I would be glad to tell you how I started and possibly give you some pointers. First, if you go to my furbrother's page (Leo) you'll see that I started out feeding strays/semi ferals where we used to live. When we moved from Utah back to Nevada last year we settled in a small city Mesquite (population 18,000). I had applied and got an interview with Animal Control. At the end of the interview I asked them what they did with the feral cats in town. They said "we kill them", I was floored and said don't you practice TNR? They said no and I left(I didnt get the job thank god). So, that's when I started doing research on the internet. I contacted Best Friends and Alley Cat Allies but didn't have any luck. So then I looked through the yellow pages and found the only rescue group in Mesquite called We Care For Animals. I contacted them and asked if they did any work with the ferals. They said no and that the only woman in town that resides in a trailer park in town that took care of that colony. I told them I was very interested in looking after the colony behind the Oasis Hotel(the only good thing that came out of the interview with Animal Control was they told me that was where there was a large colony there). I went to the first meeting and they provided me with two traps and I plunged in feet first. Now understand, I had no previous experience with feral cats but knew that I had to do something for these innocent animals, they might be feral but they are still loving animals. First, I met with the operations manager at the Oasis Hotel, who is an animal lover and she gave me permission to trap and feed the cats (and that was a major hurtle as no one had gotten premission before, hurray). Second, I walked the property to familiarize myself with the property and third, started getting familiar with the maintance workers and security as they have pointed out places where they have seen kittens, etc. To date I have TNR eighteen cats in this one colony and I have also trapped two abandoned cats as well (with this economy people abandon them as garbage, breaks my heart). One that I had named Emma was adopted by my mother who lives in Vegas and already had another cat. She was straving to death and each week that I call my mom Emma is doing great. She's been with my mom since December. It is a lot of hard work, I do everything myself. I set the traps at night, take them to the vet in the morning and then pick them up after work and keep them in my garage overnight to make sure they come out of the anestheia. I then release them back to their colony in the morning. I feed them seven days a week (rain or shine), pay for their food myself(about eleven dollars a week and change for a large dry bag of food, and sometimes the rescue organization will bring me a bag). Once you start you can never stop as they depend on you as your own pets. The only thing I don't pay for is the spay/neuter as the rescue gets a discount and writes it off. Why do I do this, someone has to and would I do it again. In a minute, it's not their fault they are feral and I sincerely love animals and they need our help. The colony I am caregiver to when I'm done will not overpopulate and I will be able to maintain the numbers. By me being down there everyday I can also gauge when they is a new member of the colony. I also have them vaccinated for rabies (also paid for by the rescue). I hear comments from the workers at the hotel that they don't see the cats in the garbage cans anymore looking for food and that the guests don't complain about them. So, I know I'm doing something right. I didn't mean to talk your ear off but I am very passinate about this cause and I've seen firsthand the results of my hard work. If you have any specific questions for me, I'll be glad to answer them for you. And like I said to you yesterday in my pawmail, I think your tribute to Yang is sincerely from the heart and I wish it would have had a happier ending. BUT, what you've done is make people think about the situation and maybe save an animal.
Furmom Judy, Sherlock(In Loving Memory), Bonnie, Leo, Casey, & Grace.
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