I met George earlier this year in the waiting room of PAWS Chicago’s Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic. We both had cats in traps that we brought in for their Trap-Neuter-Return TNR treatment. We’ve been in touch ever since. I’ve lent her some of my traps all year because George has done a remarkable amount of work for TNR and rescuing cats off the street on the city’s south side.
Yesterday I met up with George and Lily, another volunteer who has been doing TNR on her own for decades, on site in Englewood. PAWS Chicago is covering the medical costs for these cats and also admitting any friendly cats brought in from this area. George and Lily have been working on this project for the past three weeks.
In these three weeks they trapped 64 cats within three city blocks. 15 of these cats are admitted into PAWS adoption program. The rest were spayed/neutered, vaccinated, received other medical treatments as needed, and returned back to their original locations where they are fed and cared for by the residents.
The feeders at the lot wanted the majority of the cats returned to them because they are emotionally attached to them and the cats help keep the rats away. The cats are also bonded to each other, and some of them are extremely friendly. A few ran right up to Lily when we arrived.
I loved talking to Lily. She has been doing TNR all over the city for years. Back in the day she used to catch feral cats and put them into carriers to be treated by her vet. Lily is a retired Chicago Police Officer from their Canine Unit. She used to be a social worker for Chicago’s Department of Child Services. She applied to be a police officer after someone pulled a gun on her in an abandoned building in Uptown while she was working on a family case.
The auto lot colony cats are all fully recovered from their surgeries and doing well. George stopped to feed some of them and we continued on looking for other colonies. I hope to join them again in December and help this community help more cats.