Each year in the Midlands, more than 17,000 dogs and cats are euthanized due to the pet overpopulation epidemic and more than 50% of those euthanized are cats. Feral cats who find themselves in the local municipal shelters are statistically euthanized more quickly than other cats. The only way to put an end to this tragic loss of life is to spay and neuter every feral cat possible.
A feral cat is defined as a cat that lives outside and is not socialized to humans. Feral cats can have the same lifespan as companion cats, living long, healthy lives, contented in their outdoor environment. Feral cats typically live in a “colony” where they have access to a food source and shelter. An unmanaged colony can become a problem with rampant breeding, and the onset of problems that come from mating behaviors (fighting, yowling, etc.).
As an organization, Pawmetto Lifeline is committed to working with groups and individuals on trap-neuter-release (TNR). TNR is the most humane and effective method available to end the severe feral cat overpopulation crisis faced in this country. This method has been endorsed by national animal welfare groups, as well as many animal control departments. TNR stabilizes colony size by eliminating new litters and also reduces the nuisance behavior associated with unaltered cats. TNR’s most measurable effect is that fewer cats/kittens flow through animal shelters, resulting in lower euthanasia rates and increased adoptions of shelter cats.
Here is a step-by-step explanation of the TNR model and how it works:
- A feral cat colony is identified.
- The cats are trapped humanely.
- The cats are transported to a clinic for a spay/neuter surgery & rabies vaccination (at minimum).
- The cats have their left ear “tipped” for future identification.
- The cats are returned to their colony within 24 – 48 hours.
- Volunteers feed and care for the cat colony on a daily basis.
It is our hope that our flexibility and pricing will allow you to help more cats in your community. For the Feral Cat package ($25), we provide spay/neuter surgery, rabies vaccine, ear tip, and pain medication. Each of these medical services helps to stabilize the colony and to control the population.
To find out more about the Feral Cat Package at Pawmetto Lifeline, please click here.
Appointments are necessary for 3 or more feral cats. Contact 803-465-9100 to speak to the clinic about scheduling.
by: Caitlin Gomez, Clinic Office Manager, Pawmetto Lifeline