Ending the Cycle of Homeless Cats and Kittens (TNR)
Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association
September 24, 2012
The Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA) is dedicated to humanely reducing the number of homeless cats and kittens. These animals are victims of human neglect and abandonment.
Our idea is to see an end to the needless suffering and death of cats and kittens on the streets of Metro Vancouver and eventually BC by spaying or neutering at least 400 free-roaming cats, having them looked after medically as needed, and providing a safe place for pregnant feral cats to give birth to kittens who can then be socialized and adopted.
We are fortunate enough to live in a society that cares for its citizens and allows us all the right and access to basic needs such as food when we are hungry, and shelter when we are cold. We have the privilege of the comfort and companionship of domesticated cats who too often end up abandoned, alone, and homeless without their basic needs in a hostile city environment ill-equipped and often unwilling to provide them.
When it comes to stray cats who are or who have become fully accustomed to life outside, the “catch and euthanize” mentality of controlling their numbers is both ineffective and inhumane. When it comes to mother cats, often one of two things happen in that scenario; either only the kittens end up being found, leaving the stray mother to get pregnant yet again or the mother is found and needlessly euthanized, leaving tiny kittens to die of starvation or attack from predators.
Trap, Neuter and Release/Return (TNR) is a complete program in which stray and feral cats living outdoors (as well as their kittens if there are any) are humanely trapped, medically evaluated, sterilized. If after thorough evaluation and efforts they are deemed not adoptable they are then returned to a safe environment. VOKRA locates the stray and feral cat colonies by calls received from the public, local SPCAs, and municipal animal control organizations.
Of the over 1400 cats and kittens saved each year most are sociable and able to be adopted into homes. VOKRA’s goal for the un-socialized and unadoptable feral and stray cats is to trap, spay or neuter, and return 400 cats annually, a goal we were unable to reach last year due to a lack of funds. The TNR program has seen the number of homeless cat colonies in Vancouver reduce over the past ten years and the continuation of this program is essential. Thanks to our efforts over the past ten years, particularly in certain areas of Vancouver, new cat colonies are not springing up. We know this program works. However, many other areas in the Lower Mainland need our attention. VOKRA and other BC shelters have experienced a significant increase in the intake of kittens over the past year, a clear indication of the importance and necessity of our TNR program.
VOKRA has its own traps and a trained volunteer trapping team with drivers to transport the cats. We have commitments in place from spay and neuter service providers to provide these services at a 40% discount.
$46 600 can provide us the means to:
-Spay or neuter, approximately 400 cats including vaccines (where advisable), tattooing, flea/parasite medication and post-operative care (when necessary).
-Improve our volunteer intake spaces as a safe environments to temporarily have cats and kittens who are in need of medical attention, to recover from operations, or for feral mothers to safely give birth to kittens.
The impact and benefits of this program on the community are clear and include:
-A reduction in the number of homeless cats and kittens that VOKRA and all other animal shelters in the area will need to take in, care for and/or foster.
-A significant reduction in new births of feral and stray cats.
-A reduction in the spread of feline diseases to family-owned cats, which can be devastating to the cat as well as to the family.
-A reduction in the attacks on family-owned pets by non-neutered male cats, as male cats become far less aggressive when neutered.
We are a group of hard working volunteers who were founded by two women who saw a need to care for homeless cats and kittens and believe every animal deserves a chance. We will persevere, as we have done for the last 12 years, and do whatever is necessary to ensure the continuation of our programs. We are determined to end the overpopulation of cats in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, one colony at a time. This grant would allow us to continue to make that happen.
Thank you for considering VOKRA and our idea.
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