BY HEATHER DOWDY
If you’re ready to step up to help feral cats in your neighborhood, there are two local organizations ready to help you do it!
Our Nashville Paw Foundation has once again partnered with the Pet Community Center to provide free spay and neuter for local feral felines this spring. Founded by Natalie Corwin, the Pet Community Center’s “Feline Fix” program has sterilized more than 1,000 feral cats—and typically has over 800 on a waiting list at any given time!
That’s why the Nashville Paw Foundation has joined the effort by providing funding to host “Free Feral Cat Mondays”, a series of six TNR clinics at Lebanon-based Fix For Life that will fund the sterilizations for 120 cats.
If you have ferals in your area and want to help, this is a great opportunity to have them sterilized and vaccinated at no cost to your pocketbook—you just have to be willing to learn how to trap with the help of Pet Community Center.
“Our biggest challenge in Middle Tennessee is that TNR is a foreign concept to many people, but it is really much easier than most people think,” says Corwin. “Pet Community Center provides free trap loan, coaching and support year-round for anyone wanting to help feral cats. So, if you are willing to dedicate a few days to learning about TNR and to trapping feral felines in your neighborhood, it will save years of heartache and save countless lives.”
And even if you don’t have any ferals in your neighborhood, you can still help make a difference by helping transport cats to clinics, assisting with after-surgery care and more.
To understand why TNR is so vital to Middle Tennessee, Corwin offers this food for thought. “We estimate that there are 40,000 free-roaming cats in Davidson County. Feral cats are not homeless pets. They are at home outdoors. They know where to find food and shelter. They know to avoid the dog down the street and what day the trash pick up happens. They are usually safest where they are and that is why the return factor in TNR is so important. Removing them from their outdoor homes only creates a vacuum into which new cats will move in and continue to reproduce, but cats sterilized through TNR will protect their territory and keep new cats from entering the territory—as well as putting a stop to the birth cycle. It is the only humane way to manage outdoor cats and to get a handle on pet overpopulation.”
HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN FREE FERAL CAT MONDAYS:
The Nashville Paw Foundation and Pet Community Center will host free feral cat TNR clinics every Monday for six weeks on the following dates: April 8, April 15, April 22, April 29, May 6 and May 13. If you are ready to help feral cats in your community, contact the Pet Community Center today to get the help you need and to get scheduled for one of our clinics. Space is on a first-come reservation basis. To schedule, visit petcommunitycenter.org/feline-fix to fill out a form or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
READ MORE about how to help feral cat communities and about TNR (trap-neuter-return) in the spring issue of Nashville Paw magazine, hitting stands April 1, 2013! Check out the full feature story on page 24-25!