The Benefits of Trap, Neuter, Release Programs on College Campuses
You know mom has a soft spot for any and all TNR efforts. She recently spotted a story on Facebook about a university that took the right approach to dealing with the campus’ feral cat population.
By the right approach, she means, to accept the reality that if you try to relocate the cats to other areas or worse trap and euthanize them, other cats will come and fill the void and the colony will only get BIGGER over the long term!
The ONLY solution that is guaranteed to work is a steady TNR program to reduce the feral cat population over time.
College Campuses with a TNR Program already in Place
Apparently there are many colleges and universities that have adopted a TNR program to deal with their community and feral cat populations – who knew they had cats at school! Stanford University, Auburn University, Arizona State University, Texas A & M University and North Carolina State University are just a few universities that have taken up this initiative.
The schools have all taken a proactive stance to properly control the feral cats with a TNR program and steady colony maintenance. The students run it with a veterinary clinic and administrative oversight. In essence the schools have "adopted the colony" and committed to the overall wellness of the cats for the long term. Simply said, it will end the cycle of kitten births every year, thus allowing for the neutered and spayed cats to live out their lives in the colonies free of multiple pregnancies and diseases. At some point, the colony will have zero births.
The students set up regular feeding stations with fresh water and rotate feeding responsibility daily among the volunteer teams. In areas with cold weather, the students build igloos and other shelters to protect the colony in the bad weather.
Any new strays that show up, will be TNR as well. The students are also on the alert for any injured and/or sickly cats - and will trap the cat and transport to the clinic for immediate assessment and treatment.
Kittens that are caught will hopefully be able to be TNA – trapped, neutered when old enough and adopted!
Additionally all the cats and kittens, whether up for adoption or ready to be released back into the campus community after surgery, will get a checkup for the serious diseases and vaccinated for rabies, etc as well as get treated for fleas.
A healthy maintenance of the entire colony is mandatory for the long term success of the program as it benefits the colony as well as the school to keep everything, everyone and every kitty in check!
The Positive Impact a TNR Program has on College Campuses
The schools have developed a good student volunteer program for trapping, feedings, fostering, adoption events at the school, etc…according to some of the articles that Mom has read, the schools feel that this program has a “win-win” for all parties involved – first and foremost the cats, the campus community will have fewer cats, and more importantly, less sick cats…and the students. The students get to learn about taking responsibility, community involvement for the common good of all, empathy for all of God’s creatures and animal wellness…and don't forget the importance of volunteering and giving back.
If this is something that you can see your school getting involved with, please check this out for ways to get started. They clearly explain, in a “step-by step” process, how to identify and initiate the TNR activities for the schools.
Alley Cat is Mom's favorite website for all things “feral” and relatable community cat issues!
Check it out!