Sunday Surgery Day – Another Successful TNR Clinic Aids Loudoun Feral Cats!
Leesburg Veterinary Hospital was proud to host another TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) Clinic at our hospital this past weekend. The event brings together veterinarians from a variety of Loudoun County practices and numerous volunteer support staff – all in effort to reduce overpopulation and maintain the health of our local feral cat communities. A big thank you goes out to all of the volunteers who helped make the clinic a huge success! In all, 124 cats were spayed, neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped, then returned to their cat colonies.
TNR clinics are made possible by the Loudoun Community Cat Coalition – a local non-profit organization whose goal is to engage and educate our community about feral cat colonies.
Do you know the difference between a pet stray cat and feral cat?
As stated on Alley Cat Allies’ website, a feral cat is a cat who has either never had any contact with people or her contact with people has diminished over time. She is not socialized to people and survives on her own outdoors. Most feral cats are not likely to ever become lap cats or enjoy living indoors.
Feral cats are often given a bad rap, but they can happily coexist with humans, however they prefer to live outdoors without socialization. It is not recommended to try and “rescue” a feral cat and bring them to an overcrowded pound or shelter, where they will most likely be euthanized. Instead, the most humane and effective way of controlling overpopulated cat colonies is through TNR programs. (As a side note, the LCCC has some great tips on what to do if you find an abandoned kitten litter, especially during the peak spring and summer litter seasons.)
Prior to the clinic day this past Sunday, the colonies were identified and trappers were out 1-2 days and nights before the event. The day started out very early as the volunteers headed to the colonies to humanely trap and transport the free-roaming cats to the clinic. At the clinic, the cats were spayed or neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and treated for parasites. While the cats were under anesthesia, they all had their ears tipped (surgically cropping 3/8″ off the tip of the left ear). Ear-tipping is the most effective and universally accepted method to identify a spayed/neutered and vaccinated feral cat from a distance, to make sure they are not trapped or undergo surgery a second time. The entire event was extremely organized, as all cats were observed following their procedures, and returned back to their natural habitat the next day.
We are always amazed at the outpouring of support and hard work by all of our volunteers – all of whom make these clinics possible! We encourage you to learn more about our local TNR programs by visiting the Loudoun Community Cat Coalition’s website. You can also be a part of reducing overpopulation and maintaining the health of our local cat communities by donating your time or resources. To donate, visit the Coalition’s site here.
Then take a look at some great images captured from the day’s events. Photos courtesy of LVH’s Dr. Lauren Kloer and Kim Cupples, with additional photos, courtesy of LCCC’s Facebook page.
And here’s a video of the cats being released back into their colonies!