As a St. John Feral Cat Fund, Inc. (SJFCF) volunteer, I was heartened to read that the City Council is considering budgeting funds for animal rescue. Our organization receives countless calls daily requesting someone to ‘come and pick up’ stray, sick, or abandoned animals. This week we’ve received calls regarding two additional hoarding situations in Clinton County – one involving 30+ and another involving 20+ cats.
The SJFCF is a non-profit agency staffed by volunteers. Its work is NOT supported by city, county, or other government funding. Our mission is to reduce feral feline population via Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). However, most local shelters are at capacity and short-staffed. SJFCF is often asked to help (free of charge) with rescues like the Lakeside Apartment and the City cat hoarding.
During the hoarding rescue, SJFCF volunteers worked with CCES to prepare the temporary shelter. Our volunteers transported healthy kittens to the temporary shelter quickly – within a few days. Over the next three weeks, the SJFCF found homes for the most feral (wild) ones and transported them from the hospital. Shortly thereafter, remaining cats were transferred to the shelter. This helped keep costs to the City to a minimum.
SJFCF volunteers visit, clean, feed, and medicate these animals twice daily, seven days per week. Our group has spearheaded publicity regarding the availability of these cats and kittens and have facilitated all adoptions. We’ve promoted the availability of the animals on both our Website (http://members.petfinder.com/~NY483/index.html) and on Facebook.
I am relieved that the City Council recognizes the need to allocate funding for these situations, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It would behoove City and County officials work with local veterinarians on programs to make sterilization more affordable. It is clear that we have a serious problem throughout Clinton County.