20,000 Outdoor Cats TNR’ed in Cook County

Today I went to an open house for animal rescue groups at Chicago Animal Care and Control. It was a chance for all the groups to meet while discussing their plans moving forward to reducing the number of animals killed in shelters in Chicago.

All areas of rescue, from foster organizations to adoptions to shelters to trap-neuter-return to cat colony caretakers, were given credit in helping the overall kill rates to decrease. Rochelle Michalek, PAWS Chicago’s executive director, explained the statistics in how their shelter is helping to get the number of animals saved to increase every year.

One number she cited struck me the most. Twenty thousand.

Twenty thousand stray and feral cats have been TNR’ed since 2008, at the start of the Managed Care of Feral Cats Ordinance making TNR Cook County’s preferred method of controlling our stray and feral cat overpopulation. 20,000 is the combined number of cats TNR’d as reported by the ordinance’s sponsor organizations: Feral Fixers, PAWS Chicago, Tree House, and Triple R Pets.

How’s that for Cat Math? That number is HUGE. It shows that A LOT of people are out there doing TNR because they know it’s the most humane and effective method of controlling the outdoor cat overpopulation.

Then Dr. Richard Brown, CACC’s new supervising veterinarian, threw out some more numbers. He wants CACC to reduce their kill rate another 10% this year. And then he wants CACC, an intake shelter, to be no-kill by 2015.

I am inspired. I met a lot of great people today who care greatly.

And I won the gift box from the Open House’s raffle! I didn’t even put my name in the hat – Erin from Lulu’s Locker Rescue threw it in there without me knowing about it. It’s filled with dog treats, cat toys and other very important supplies for feral cat colony caretakers such was wine, beer, chocolate, cookies and candy.

I’m sharing the treats with some of my community’s feral cat caretakers. And Mooha.

I want this one!

I want this one!

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Cats In My Yard on Youtube

Mini is the only cat in my yard that made it into my home, and joined my other two cats, Mowpa and Mooha. She started coming around in 2005 where I fed her outside for six months before she decided she wanted to come inside. My initial intention was to adopt her out, but she didn’t agree. Here she is doing one of her favorite things. This video was filmed, edited and scored by Caffeinated Recordings.

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Careful! It’s a Tru-Catch Trap!

I have amazing, generous, wildly creative friends. Last month one of my bands, noise&light, played a Halloween show at Klas restuarant. My friend from my other band, The Columbines, is the mastermind behind this annual event. This year she organized performances from a dozen bands, delicious Czech food courtesy of Klas, a raffle for some amazing eclectic prizes, and a costume contest. Then she donated half of the proceeds to her charity of choice, Women for Women International, and the other half to help out the cats for TNR!

So far I used this donation to purchase four Tru-Catch traps. These small animal traps are preferred among feral cat trappers for Trap-Neuter-Return TNR projects. This humane trap seems to work best for me when trapping an outdoor feral cat colony, and I can fit four of these in my catty wagon when I take them to spay/neuter clinics.

Mooha approves.

If I can’t get in the box, at least I can sit on top of it.

Mooha is one of my senior indoor cats from La Casa de Vansassa. She is the first to get into everything.

Here’s a Tru-Catch trap in action with the Iron Works Colony.

Hey! He pushed me!

Here’s another look at the traps exposed and baited with food. This is the Eleanor Rigby Colony that I first TNR’ed in 2008. When the colony is hungry, the cats will go in safely without getting hurt.

Project TNR: One day they’re in, and the next day they’re out.

I already have some TNR projects scheduled next month to start using these traps and help get more community cats spayed and neutered.

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Giving Thanks for a Second Helping

I purrfur to share sometimes.

Recently I discovered a local pet food store, Kriser’s, that has ALL of the brands of cat food my three senior indoor cats love. My cats all eat at the same time, but they each have their own special needs.

Kriser’s has agreed to donate cat food when available to help keep the outdoor TNR’ed community cats fed and healthy. If I get off of work in time today, I’ll be making a stop at some of the feral cat colonies to make sure they get an extra second helping of food.

My alpha female cat Mooha does not quite understand yet which food is hers, but she is always the first to check out anything new. What a wonderful start to the holiday season! Happy Thanksgiving!

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