Those that have been reading my writings for awhile know that I’m a fan of Tabby’s Place. I’ve never been there, but the work they’re doing out in Ringoes, New Jersey resonates all the way across the internet to Chicago and beyond. It tickles my whiskers to be able to talk about them again because they’re doing something new and exciting! However, I’d like to turn this article over to MomFOD, since the topic is of a serious nature and, we all know, she’s far more serious than I. Hit it, MomFOD!
MomFOD: Thank you, Crepes. Tabby’s Place is well-known for taking in sick, wounded, and dying cats, providing hospice care to those that are near finished with their journey, and providing long-term care to those who have no other place to go. Their population usually contains about 30% special needs cats and 70% normal, healthy kitties. Doing great work in the animal welfare arena since 2003, Tabby’s Place is now excited to announce that they’re expanding into the world of TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return.) For those who don’t know, TNR is a process of trapping stray cats, providing them with spay and neuter surgery, and returning them to their colonies to live out their lives, usually with help from a community member who oversees feeding and welfare. It’s an effort to reduce feral cat populations in the hopes of a euthanasia-free future.
Crepes: I’d just like to pop in here and mention that I was the product of a successful TNR project. Without TNR, I’d still be out there living with Uncle Dad and Aunt Mom in our terribly inbred and overpopulated colony outside of Chicago. I’d probably be my own grandmother by now.
MomFOD: Thank you, Crepes, for that delightful image. Moving along, Tabby’s Place has something a little different planned for their project, which they’re calling “T2NR.”
MomFOD: No, Crepes! Not, T2. T2NR, for Targeted Trap Neuter Return. When asked to clarify the difference between the T2NR program and traditional TNR methods that have been in use for the last decade or so, Angela Townsend explained:
“…the concerted focus on a particular geographic area is a key difference between TNR and T2NR. The other primary distinction is that, for T2NR, we have to be proactive. That is, we won’t be waiting for folks to call us up or bring in feral cats as they find them (like traditional spay/neuter clinics do); we’re explicitly going out to reach all the free-roaming cats in our target area ourselves. This is inevitably “messier,” as it will involve finding cats in places where they can’t safely remain (and then having to find them a new, safe outdoor colony); dealing with community members; etc.”
The T2NR program, according to Tabby’s Place’s web page, centers around these steps:
- proactively locating free-roaming cat colonies,
- altering and providing medical care for the cats,
- forging collaborative relationships with the community,
- safely relocating cats who cannot remain where they were trapped,
- and arranging for ongoing care and monitoring for the colonies.
Tabby’s Place is now estimating that they have roughly 1,000 cats living in their first targeted area surrounding their sanctuary. Their very first goal is to expand their in-house hospital to a larger wing of their building. They want to reach and provide medical care for each and every one of those cats within the next three years.
Crepes: A lofty goal!
MomFOD: And yet attainable, nevertheless. If the new program works, Tabby’s Place will be one of the leaders in reducing the feral cat population, providing a model for all other rescues to follow. Should this succeed and spread to other states, the USA will make a huge leap towards a no-kill future.
MomFOD: Presently, Tabby’s Place is collecting funds to get this project underway. With a goal of $400,000, Tabby’s Place is nearly 60% of the way there. They’re offering various types of sponsorship levels, including some lovely commemorative plaques for $500.
Crepes: Thank you, MomFOD, for that excellent report.
MomFOD: You’re welcome, Crepes. I really couldn’t have done it without you, mostly because you wouldn’t let me. If you’d like to help Tabby’s Place reach their goal, please contact Tabby’s Place’s Development Director Angela Townsend at at(@)tabbysplace.org or 908-237-5300 ext 235. For more information, visit Tabby’s Place on the internet.