For Immediate Release
Contact Lynn Kopka 518-274-6434
TROY, N.Y. (March 21, 2012) – One hundred fifty of Troy’s feral felines will no longer be “catting around” after graduating from Operation Snip – the City’s first TNR program.
TNR is trap-neuter-return of outdoor, feral cats living throughout Troy’s abandoned buildings and alleys. City Council President Lynn Kopka announced the program as a collaboration with the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, the Rensselaer County Humane Society and other animal care groups.
NOTE: There will be a press conference for the Troy TNR program on Friday, March 23 at 4 p.m. at Troy City Hall, 1776 Sixth Avenue.
“The overpopulation of feral cats is a concern to residents and businesses throughout Troy,” said Kopka. “Working with the Humane Society in early spring to spay and neuter up to 150 cats is a good beginning to address this issue.”
The Humane Society receives thousands of stray kittens every year, many of them born from free roaming cats. South Troy has been identified by the Humane Society as one of the region’s “hot spots” for free roaming kittens being born.
“We are enthusiastic about the collaboration with the City of Troy on this project,” said Brad Shear, executive director of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society. “This is exactly the kind of preventative program that will reduce the population of cats in the area and improve the quality of life for felines as well as humans.”
Troy’s animal control officer Kevin McDonough has seen an increase in the number of feral cats in recent years.
“I am optimistic about this coordinated operation to reduce the number of feral kittens born each year,” said McDonough. “Animal Control officers have little jurisdiction over feral cats but are aware of the neighborhoods’ concerns about their increasing numbers. Implementing a city-wide program of this nature is a step in the right direction.”
Laurene Smith, president of the Rensselaer County Humane Society, added that, “being in a joint venture with the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, the City of Troy, and the numerous wonderful animal care groups we have in our area on this very important and necessary project is what it’s all about when your mission is to help those animals in need.”
The Rensselaer County Humane Society will be also donating a supply of rabies vaccinations for the TNR as well as assisting in the trapping. Also contributing a supply of rabies vaccinations is Pondview Country Kennel. Five traps are donated by Troy’s own Pfeil Hardware. Various animal care groups, including Noah’s Kingdom, are lending traps.
Trapping locations will be identified by neighborhood groups, the City’s Animal Control Officer, volunteers tending feral cat colonies, Code Enforcement and TPD. Surgeries are scheduled for April 3 & 4, 10 & 11, and 17 & 18 at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society. Cats will be trapped the day and evening prior to their trip to the operating room for spay or neuter services. Approximately 25-30 traps will be set for each day, with the expectation that at least 25 cats will be curious – or hungry – enough to enter the traps. Tasty meals of fish will be inserted in each trap. Curiosity will not kill the cats, but will leave them in a healthier state of mind and body.
After neuter or spay surgery, ear tipping and vaccination, each cat will be placed in the trap, driven to Troy and held overnight in a secure, enclosed location until release the following morning. Cats will be returned to their point of origin.
TNR will not solve the overpopulation of feral cats but will begin to address the proliferation of feral cats. Their numbers will gradually reduce. The behaviors and stresses associated with mating and fighting lessen. These adult cats are not candidates for adoption and cannot be introduced into homes as pets. Kittens can often be adopted, but they must be socialized at an early age.
OPERATION SNIP NEEDS:
Funds of $35 per cat
Drivers to and from the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society
Loan or donation of 50 hav-a-heart raccoon traps
Small plastic disposable dishes
Small blankets/towels to cover the traps
Operation Snip is partially funded by an anonymous donation from an animal lover. Additional funds are being solicited and may be sent to the Troy PBA, PO Box 1041, Troy, NY 12181-1041. Clearly write “SNIP” on the check. All funds will go for direct services; volunteers will not be paid for any expenses. Donation or loan of Hav-A-Heart traps is needed. Volunteers are also being sought for driving to and from the trapping locations and Humane Society; intake at MHHS; and cleaning and return of traps.
To donate or loan a trap, contact Lynn Kopka at 274-6434.
Additional information about feral cats may be found at www.alleycats.org.
For images of the cats and the cat “condos,” visit:
OPERATION SNIP PARTNERS AS OF MARCH 20, 2012
Mohawk Hudson Humane Society
Rensselaer County Humane Society
Troy Housing Authority
Pondview Country Kennel
City of Troy Animal Control Officer Kevin McDonough
Troy Police Benevolent Association
Pet Care Community Volunteers
Town of Colonie
NETWORK OF VOLUNTEERS WHO ARE TENDING COLONIES AND PRACTICING TNR
For information, contact Lynn Kopka 518-274-6434