Carol’s Ferals shifts to trap-neuter-return focus

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By refocusing on trap-neuter-return, Carol’s Ferals said it can again drive awareness and education to help the public support its mission to prevent overpopulation and disease spread in community cat populations. Courtesy Carol's Ferals

A nonprofit that works to end feline overpopulation in West Michigan is discontinuing pet adoption services and transitioning back to its trap-neuter-return focus for cats born in the wild.

Carol Manos, executive director of Carol’s Ferals, said Tuesday that the organization is “making a full comeback” of its original mission to end feline overpopulation through community education, empowerment and activism.

“We will be transitioning back to (trap-neuter-return), where our roots originally started, and our renewed commitment to TNR means we will no longer be offering adoption services,” Manos said.

“We are approaching TNR in a way that will build deeper relationships with the community and empower local cat advocates in their own neighborhoods. We are launching Carol’s Ferals Cat Force, which will utilize the expertise of our experienced boots-on-the-ground trappers to elevate TNR to a neighborhood-centric, grassroots program.”

By refocusing on TNR, Carol’s Ferals said it can again drive awareness and education to help the public support its mission to prevent overpopulation and disease spread in community cat populations.

“Community cats are just that — a whole community issue. The combined efforts of Carol’s Ferals and Focus on Ferals for well over a decade have made a significant impact on the feral cat population,” said Gina Marvin, director of Focus on Ferals in Byron Center. “The stark reality is these cats need advocates and resources that reach further than two individual rescue groups can manage. We wholeheartedly support this new and innovative effort presented by CF as a means to unite and empower whole communities for the welfare of feral cats.”

Feral cats are not homeless or abandoned domestic cats, according to Carol’s Ferals. They are community cats born outdoors that live without any substantial human contact. They do not need to be rescued because they already have a home, and it is the outdoors, the nonprofit said.

The TNR approach ensures no new kittens are born, stabilizes cat populations, provides vaccines and improves cats’ lives. It also stops the behaviors and stresses associated with mating, such as yowling, spraying and fighting. The result is neighborhoods that are healthier, kinder and safer for cats and citizens, according to Carol’s Ferals.

Manos said she put “a lot of thought and time” into the decision to end cat adoptions and focus on TNR.

“Although there are many outstanding adoption programs for cats and kittens, there is no one dedicated, single-purpose organization dedicated solely to TNR in West Michigan,” she said. “We want to be at the forefront of driving collaboration with the community and local animal welfare partners so our synergies can be elevated.”

Carol’s Ferals will begin implementing the Cat Force program throughout this spring and summer.

Neighborhood organizations, individuals and veterinarians interested in participating in the Cat Force program can visit Carol’s Ferals’ website.

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