This year Alley Cat Rescue was involved in many on-the-ground rescues. One of these rescues was in south central Los Angeles, where we learned a colony of cats were living. We quickly responded and sent a team out to help these cats. This colony of cats was easy to find as they were hanging out on the sidewalk when our team arrived. It was almost like they were waiting for us to come help them. Most of the cats in this colony were a variation of a beautiful grey and white pattern. It is likely that there was a mother cat with multiple litters of kittens living in the colony together.
This unmanaged colony of cats had started off with just two or three cats a year ago but quickly grew to over 15 cats. Instances such as this are an important reason TNR is so vital. Small colonies of cats can rapidly expand in size if the cats are not sterilized to prevent reproducing.
When we arrived we were greeted by some of the friendlier cats, while the unsocialized ones kept their distance. The adult cats were TNR’d and the kittens were young enough to be adopted out. Unfortunately, a couple of the kittens were in poor health when we found them and were suffering from severe URI infections. We provided the kittens with veterinary care for the URIs and hot compresses, antibiotics and ointments for the eye infections. The kittens recovered amazingly and we have found homes for eight kittens so far. We are still learning how large this colony of cats is and will be continuing our rescue efforts until all the cats are TNR’d. Two cat caregivers have been found who will care for the community cats after the rescue efforts are complete.
Without TNR, the future of these cats could have been bleak. ACR works to promote TNR throughout the United States and internationally. Currently, Los Angeles is re-evaluating their policy on TNR. In the past, the city has supported TNR and has provided vouchers for community cat spay/neuter surgeries, issued trapping permits and provided referrals to community cat groups. The city was forced to halt their support of TNR after a lawsuit by environmental groups succeeded in court. The city has prepared a new project proposal to continue to promote TNR but this proposal is currently under an Environmental Impact Report review. We hope the program will be approved by the city. We have seen firsthand the impact TNR can have for cats in Los Angeles and support from the city will be essential for continued TNR work by cat protection groups and individuals.
Alley Cat Rescue is leading in the way in promoting humane and compassionate care for ALL cats.