Here are the numbers:
A total of 177 cats were TNR’d within one square mile since 2007.
59 of those cats remain outside here at 20 colony sites where they are fed and sheltered. Outdoor cat population decreased at 18 of those locations.
Compare that with last year’s numbers of 153 cats TNR’d, and 70 of those cats remaining outside.
Even though 24 more cats were TNR’d here last year, the outdoor cat population decreased overall even more from 2013 to 2014, from 55% to two thirds reduction: 67 percent!
That means only one in three cats remain outside here ever since I started TNR!
How does that work? The majority of the 24 “new” cats from last year were friendly, most likely people’s cats left outside, so they were pulled off the street for adoption. Even though we added one more colony site last year, the Stealer’s Wheel Colony, aka the hoarder/drug house, the majority of those cats were pulled off the site. Out of 16 cats only 3 were TNReturned. The other 13 were admitted into shelters, relocated, or died.
Or the cats disappeared, like Noche Nariz.
We would see even greater reductions in numbers if people stopped leaving their pets outside, or there was no such thing as animal hoarders. Those are things I cannot control, and do not dispute how TNR works, because they really have nothing to do with TNR. TNR is for feral cats, and there have been very, very few “true ferals” here in the past few years. If I have to TNReturn cats here outside, it’s because I cannot find indoor homes for them fast enough. I am also pretty busy caring for the medical needs of these fantastic “legacy” colony cats as they are aging gracefully out there. They are doing well, but older cats sometimes get sick.
The ONLY point of TNR is to reduce the cat population humanely. I can never say it enough. I dream of the day of not seeing cats in every alley. We are getting closer to that reality.
Here’s the case study to illustrate the point:
If you want to download this case study here’s the pdf:
I also helped people TNR outside of this area. I call these “satellite colonies” and the colony numbers were reduced as well, by more than a third overall.
If you’d like to know more about how TNR works in reducing the outdoor cat populations, please visit Alley Cat Allies, a national organization dedicated to protecting and improving the lives of our nation’s cats. They have a number of case studies conducted nationally of people and organizations doing TNR successfully. I am happy to be included on that list.