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Experienced TNR'er's please?

Discussion in 'Caring for Strays and Ferals' started by Draco, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. Draco

    Draco Thread Starter NOT Malfoy! Veteran

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    LawnGuyLand, NY
    My local(ish) shelter is starting a TNR program and are asking for volunteers. I know very little about TNR.. except that its trapping, neutering/vetting and releasing back to the colony. That's just the nutshell.

    But what about "behind the scenes" or other experiences that normal people won't see? Can you guys share what can be expected? am I required to have space for these cats? (which I do not have). they won't have contact to my home at all, right?

    I don't want to sign up, and then realize its not for me and abandon the cause. I want to find out as much as I can. I tried calling the shelter, but no one's answering. I figured I'd check here while I try calling again later.

    ETA: I know each shelter is different, but what are the odds of them actually releasing the cats as opposed to euth. them? I don't want to be the one to bring them in only to have them PTS
     

  2. feralvr

    feralvr TCS Member Veteran

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    Northwest Indiana
    HI Draco [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] YAY for you considering volunteering time to assist TNR through your local shelter. What they are probably looking for is people to take traps back and forth to the colonies. To set traps at colony locations. To transport trapped ferals to and from the vet's for the sterilizations. For someone to offer a garage (with long tables) for the cat's to recover one night in their traps after the surgeries. Then, for someone to take those recovered ferals (in the traps) back to their colonies to release them. Usually the Organization makes all of the arrangement for surgeries, etc. They just need people willing to transport trapped ferals, and people willing to keep them overnight for recovery. Of course, if there are "friendly" ferals, they look for foster homes willing (and have experience) to socialize a "friendly".

    Also, sometimes they look for someone who is already a caretaker and has a colony willing to take a feral or two and incorporate them into your already established colony. Especially if this particular feral has no colony and cannot for whatever reason be re-released back where it was found. This takes quite more time and effort on the volunteer part. I did that once or twice over the years at the horse barns where I boarded my horse and cared for feral's at those barns. It worked out quite well, and those cats are still living at those barns.

    Also, the shelter must be getting the word out to the community to let them know they are now supporting a TNR program and will assist people with feral/stray cats. This is just great, great news and I wish more local shelter's would incorporate such an good effort to help the feral cats.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] Also, this shelter is not starting a TNR program/effort to end up euthanizing these cats. That is not what TNR stands for, at all. You won't have to worry about that. The efforts are to control the feral cat population and to hopefully find feral cat caretakers/guardians in your area.

    Thanks and keep us updated on what you find out [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

  3. Draco

    Draco Thread Starter NOT Malfoy! Veteran

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    Sounds like a lot of work! lol. Thanks for your input! I will still find out more from this shelter.

    They have an article in the local newspaper that they were looking for volunteers.. thats how I found out!
     

  4. ldg

    ldg TCS Member Veteran

    Lauren pretty much filled you in. [​IMG] All I'd add is definitely, talk to them and find out! And thank you for even being interested. [​IMG] I hope you're able to help. TNR programs need as many helping hands as they can find! [​IMG]
     

  5. Draco

    Draco Thread Starter NOT Malfoy! Veteran

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    I spoke to the shelter, and they made it sound like a full-time job! They'd expect me to be out on site 3-4x a day at least to check the traps, and visit the vet several times a week to check on my TNR's. With my full-time job, it seems very difficult! I also do not have a garage or any sort of space for them. I decided I needed to pass that up for the time being.

    I am checking another shelter (where I adopted Picasso from) to see what kind of volunteer positions they have.. for adoptions especially. a visit to the shelter a few times a week after hours or every other weekend or so.. especially helping out at adoption fairs. I wish I could foster, but I don't have the extra room to do so! One day!
     

  6. ldg

    ldg TCS Member Veteran

    They trap during the day on weekdays? Gary and I worked primarily from home so had the flexibility to do that, but um... most people work full time! [​IMG]
     

  7. callista

    callista TCS Member Top Cat

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    They do euthanize cats with severe and/or communicable health problems. So, if they go to spay a cat and find she has cancer or a major infection, they will euthanize her rather than let her wake up from the surgery. That kind of thing. Otherwise she would die outside by herself, and that's just not kind. Some places euthanize cats with a positive FIV/FLV test, but that's not done everywhere because those aren't as easy to spread.
     

  8. Draco

    Draco Thread Starter NOT Malfoy! Veteran

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    LDG- I guess thats how they work? its what they told me, lol. I bet they're looking for people who are "in between jobs" or a stay a home mom or something.

    Callista- they said if a cat does not pass the exam, really sick and cannot be cured, then they will euth.

    I am going to a volunteer orientation this saturday to find out more about shelter volunteering and possibly sign up if its all good [​IMG]
     

  9. ritz

    ritz TCS Member Veteran

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    I'd also ask them what is the rationale behind trapping during the day--when cats are nocturnal by nature and when there is more activity which would scare any cat away. Also need to know if these cats have a ready made food source nearby (like, dumpsters), it may be harder to trap the cats. (In which case, let us know, and we can give you some tips.)
    Also ask who does their spay/neutering and where is it done? The group I go through for TNRing is literally next door to the animal hospital. The animal hospital keeps the cat(s) overnight for free, and sometimes it's necessary because the animal hospital handles emergencies first, S/N second, so they don't have time to S/N the cat(s).
    I've TNRd 15 to 18 cats in about 18 months; organization is important, but other than that, not too time consuming.
     

  10. feralvr

    feralvr TCS Member Veteran

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    Northwest Indiana
    I am sure the shelter is looking for a wide variety of people from all walks of life who have more time on their hands than they know what to do with[​IMG]. At least it sounds like they are trying to cover all of their bases. You just have to find a "spot" or place in the organization for yourself that works for you and your schedule. Most shelters/orgs. are extremely grateful for ANY time you can offer them or ANY job you can take on, no matter how small it is, it is something and will be appreciated [​IMG]. Volunteering for a shelter or a TNR organization can be like a full-time job for some. It just depends on how much of a commitment you want to make, it is all up to you. One hour a week or four hours a day, there are so many ways to assist these orgs., you will be surprised. Have a wonderful time on Saturday! You will have a lot more information to go on after that meeting and many ideas and ways for you to help out. [​IMG][​IMG]
     

  11. ziggy'smom

    ziggy'smom TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Feb 15, 2010
    What the shelter told you sounds very odd. Are you sure you understood it correctly or the person you talked to knows what she's talking about? TNR is not a full time job. I think what they meant was that you have to check on the traps a few times on trap days, not every day. Some volunteers can participate often while others can only do it once in a while. Everyone that can help are usually needed even if it's just one day every couple of months.
    Usually trapping doesn't go on every day. They normally have a few days set aside for trapping the cats and not all volunteers have to participate in all of them. Either way it's not every day. When you do set the traps you have to check on them a few times until you catch the cats. But it rarely takes more than a couple of hours to get the cats trapped if you have a feeding schedule which you should before you start trapping. You don't have to sit around a whole day and check the traps 3-4 times.

    Once you take them to the vet you either pick the cats up the same day and take them home for them to recuperate for a couple of days or they recuperate at the vet and you just pick them up after a couple of days and take them back to the colony and release them. I see no reason why you would have to make a bunch of trips to the vet to check on the cats. Since 48 hours of recovery time is usually sufficient you wouldn't have much time to check on them anyway. The only reason I could see why they want a volunteer to check on the cats is if the volunteer is the one that is supposed to feed the cats and keep the trap clean. But if that's the case, why would they even be kept at the vet? That makes no sense.

    You actually don't need a garage or anything like that to keep the cats in. Some organizations have big neuter days when they fix dozens of cats and keep them all together in one place to recuperate. But others do just a few cats here and there so you would just need enough space to place a couple of traps on. A bathroom would be okay or even a porch (depending on the situation) if the temperature is good (not too hot, not too cold).

    Every organization does things differently but most need all sorts of volunteers. The one I used to be with needed volunteers to do things like clean traps, take cats back and forth to the clinic, care for recupetating cats, put together cat shelters or just do things like make phone calls. I really think the info the shelter gave you sounds strange so if I were you I'd call back and explain to them that you have limited time and ask what you can do to help. I'm wondering if the person you spoke to didn't explain things properly.

    It is work though, not that much fun, so you have to be willing to do that.
     

  12. Draco

    Draco Thread Starter NOT Malfoy! Veteran

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    I did not get good vibes from the shelter. Decided not to bother and call back with more questions.

    Instead, I found two cat shelters that are in need of volunteers to socialize and take care of the cats for a few hours a week. This I signed up for.
     

  13. feralvr

    feralvr TCS Member Veteran

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    Northwest Indiana
    Go with your gut. Unfortunately, there is one rescue near me that I get bad "vibes" from. It is just the lady running the place, she can be very rude and obstinate. Even to potential adopters. Very odd.

    YAY for the places you did find that you feel comfortable with. It is work so you want to feel good about the place you will be working for. Good luck and you will be doing a great service for the kitties in that shelter. [​IMG]
     

  14. Draco

    Draco Thread Starter NOT Malfoy! Veteran

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    thank you. This is a no-kill shelter. They go to kill shelters and take "lesser adoptable" cats, or ones that are next up to be euth. They take mostly middle-aged to senior cats, black cats and tuxedo cats since they're least liked, and especially cats that could use medical help that no other people would want to care for. They rarely take kittens, unless other shelters are really overwhelmed or growing out of their "cute kitten stage". Kittens are easier to adopt out. I am pleased with their setup.. they have HUGE cages for them.. most of them are not even in cages (only when they can't get along or too stressed, stay in cages and alternate).. and they have a HUGE free-roaming room with just one cage for cats to come and go. Its really nice [​IMG]

    And this is the place where I adopted Picasso from (though she was in a pet shop cage, I didn't see the shelter before hand)
     

  15. feralvr

    feralvr TCS Member Veteran

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    Northwest Indiana
    Yes, that does sound like a fantastic shelter. Very well run and I like the free-roaming rooms too. The shelter I volunteer for has a very large free-roaming room and we have one room with very large cat cages too. We also transport cats from down state at a high-kill shelter that are on death's door. You will be happy you decided to volunteer your time to helping a wonderful, caring place like that. How awesome they take in the "least likely adoptable cats" too from the kill shelters. What a great place[​IMG]
     

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