Falmouth Outlook Article, Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Used with Permission

Community Takes Action – Cat Population Problem!

Coming together for Community Service, reducing feral/stray cat population, offering a low cost spay/neuter option for our county; it’s a Win, Win, Win for Pendleton County residents and animals. The Humane Society of Northern Kentucky held their first S’Neuter Clinic on February 2, 2023, at the Pendleton County Extension Office.

With a traveling veterinarian and veterinary tech, along with 15-20 community volunteers each month we have been able to spay/neuter 300 cats and dogs in Pendleton County in 2023!

Each monthly clinic opens at 7:15 a.m. with a lot of hustle and bustle! The volunteers are getting all of their stations prepped and ready to go for the day to ensure proper care for our pets and community cats. Our amazing and dedicated team of volunteers are all here for one reason, they have come together to donate their time so that we can safely and steadily work through our 25-35 surgical appointments. The residents begin dropping off community cats in traps and owned pets in carriers.

Our community cat program is TNR focused (Trap Neuter Return). Community cats are cats that are free-roaming, most commonly abandoned or the result of failure to spay/neuter that end up becoming the responsibility of the community. TNR is a program where community cats are humanely trapped, spayed/neutered, vaccinated for rabies, ear tipped (a universal sign that a cat has already been neutered in the event it is accidentally trapped again) and returned to where they were found to live out their lives without reproducing and contributing negatively towards the community cat population problem.

The Humane Society loans traps to our residents who have community colonies or even just a stray cat or two. These county residents volunteer their time to trap cats in their yards or areas where community cats have formed a colony due to being abandoned or born wild and bring them into the clinic so that they don’t continue to add to the overabundance of cats in our area.

Did you know a female community cat can produce two, sometimes three litters per year with typically four to six kittens per litter? A male cat can impregnate multiple females throughout the year, producing several litters. By spaying a single female cat to prevent reproduction, we have the ability to prevent more than 400,000 kittens from being born.

These homeless cats would be roaming the streets looking for food and shelter, trying to avoid being hit by a car or suffering exposure or trauma. These cats can impact people directly through the spread of parasites and diseases, damage to gardens and property, and noise nuisances. Reminder- we spayed/neutered 300 animals this year. What an impact we’re making in the big picture!

Our community caregivers and our volunteers are so important to our cause because without them we could not continue Making a Difference. As they say, it takes a village and we need every member of our team ready to go on clinic day. From the person tagging traps outside, the person doing check in, weighing, covering, and staging, doing examinations, shaving for surgical prep, providing recovery care, cleaning cages, treating for parasites, checking post-op recovery, providing discharge instructions to the person who does all of our laundry and mopping up the floors afterward. We have trap pick up and trap return, a registration day (and yes, it usually only lasts a single day, sometimes just a couple hours, because that’s how fast our monthly clinic fills up!), residents out trapping the day prior, website work, fundraising, coordination, donations of supplies and the list goes on. Hustle and bustle, to say the least.

We need you, our community! If you’re interested in helping the animals in our county, please visit our website. You can help by volunteering at the clinic, providing supplies for our clinic, or working with a local restaurant to provide lunch for our volunteers and we always welcome monetary donations.

The Humane Society also provides physical and financial assistance for the feeding of community cats, coordinates spay/neuter for the animals in our county shelter via local veterinarians, and offers financial assistance for homeless animals within our shelter who are in need of medical care to reduce their pain and suffering. We continue to work towards improved accessibility to a healthier, happier life for all the homeless animals of our county.

Thanks to Friends of the Shelter for their continued support of our spay/neuter program. Visit www.humanesocietynky.org