Posts tagged feral cats

Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project volunteers highlighted in Northwest Prime Time

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Ralph Hurvitz (center) at the Feral Cat Spay / Neuter Project in Lynnwood, WA

Northwest Prime Time has web published my article on Ralph Hurvitz and JJ Farrar, volunteers at the Feral Cat Spay Neuter Project.  Check out the details of their commitment to help feral cats in Northwest Prime Time.

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Approaching 75,000 cats fixed in Lynnwood!

T-shirt at the FCSNP in Lynnwood, Wash.

The Feral Cat Spay Neuter Project (FCSNP) in Lynnwood, Wash. is approaching a phenomenal event.  This June they are passing a benchmark of spaying or neutering 75,000 cats!  Here is a brief interview with Executive Director, Lauren Glickman.

Q: An exciting milestone for the Feral Cat Spay Neuter Project (FCSNP) is coming up as you approach fixing the 75,000th cat.  Did this milestone come sooner than you expected?

A:  The milestone seems right on time. We’ve been altering between 7500 and 9500 cats per year for the past 5 years now, so we’ve been able to predict with some accuracy when these milestones will occur.

Q:  How many years has FCSNP been in operation? Has your rate of cat surgeries increased over the years to reach this milestone?  Is there a maximum capacity for the Lynnwood clinic? 

A: In operation, since 1997 and rate statistics are shown below.    Capacity is 50 cats/day.

Cats altered per year at FCSNP

Q:  How far do people drive to bring cats to the clinic?   What is the overall region you serve?  

A:  People have come all the way from Forks, WA and also from Gray’s Harbor, Tri Cities, Yakima and Lewis County.  Most of our cats are from Pierce, Snohomish, King, and Grays Harbor counties.

Q:  I understand you are implementing a campaign in Everett to let people know about your services.  Who are you hoping to reach with this campaign? 

A:  We are hoping to reach out to people who live in areas where there are free-roaming cats as well as low-income folks who want to do the right thing but can’t always afford it.

Q:  How do you plan to celebrate this milestone?  Do you have any other milestones on the horizon?    

A:  On August 18th we are going to host an Open House at the Clinic in Lynnwood.  We will have drinks and snacks and will chat and enjoy each other’s company.  We have a big Sexless Soiree Auction with a Twist coming up on September 15th.  That’s our big fundraiser for the year and it’s super playful and fun!

Volunteers at the FCSNP

Q:  How can people help out at FCSNP?

A:  People can help FCSNP in many ways.  Monthly donations are probably one of the best ways… a small recurring monthly donation makes a huge difference in what we’re able to accomplish.  Donations of towels, auction items, carriers, bleach, garbage bags and Costco gift cards are always welcome.  People can volunteer in a variety of ways.  Our website www.feralcatproject.org describes the many volunteer positions available.

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Cat trappers featured on KPLU

Cat trappers from Grays Harbor (KPLU)

While animal welfare doesn’t get the media coverage that say sports and business events get in every dose of news broadcast, it’s really nice to see my local NPR station covering the activities of animal welfare activists.  Check out this article on KPLU.

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Northwest Pet features northwest ferals

In a recent City Living article, I featured the Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project located in Lynnwood, WA.  Another version of that article has been published in Northwest Pet Magazine along with links to resources for feral cats in the Spokane area.

Check out the article, ‘Feral Cats – more than just a quick fix’ on page 10 of the August 2011 issue.

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City Living – AMONG THE ANIMALS: Two Projects on lookout for free-roaming, feral cats

Mom and kitten observing a humane trap (Alley Cat Project photo)

Originally printed in City Living
Pacific Publishing Company
By Christie Lagally

What we need is a neighborhood watch…for cats.

It wouldn’t be a typical neighborhood watch, of course, but the benefits would be similarly favorable. What if you kept your eye out for stray or feral cats in your neck of the woods and made a quick call if you saw one?

That is the hope of Kate Rich, cofounder of the Alley Cat Project in Seattle. Rich and her colleagues have a mission: to trap, spay or neuter, and return every feral or free-roaming cat in Seattle. In 2011 alone, they’ve already assisted more than 180 cats, and they are called upon by the public almost daily to deal with colonies of cats and pregnant or nursing mothers.

“These are the calls we like to get,” Rich said, referring to calls from keen residents who notice a mother cat. “If we can take care of the mother and babies now, it doesn’t turn into a bigger problem, like a colony of cats.”

Removing barriers

Clearly a pragmatist when it comes to animal-welfare issues, Rich and five other volunteers started the Alley Cat Project in 2008. While there are many not-for-profit groups providing trap-neuter/spay-return (TNR), Alley Cat Project focuses on just the city of Seattle so as not to burden their volunteers with long-distance driving out of the city. Rich said it’s more efficient to work within an area where you live, and other groups do the same.

TNR is a free-roaming-cat management technique that involves trapping feral and stray, but tame, cats and sometimes entire colonies of cats; spaying or neutering them; and ultimately returning the cats to their site of origin.

Prep table at the Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project.

While the Alley Cat Project takes care of the trap-and-return part, Rich and her colleagues turn to the Feral Cat Spay Neuter Project (FCSNP) in Lynnwood to spay or neuter the cats. FSCNP are focused on providing low-cost and no-cost spay/neuter services to humane trappers, nonprofits and the general public. “It’s all about removing the barriers to spay/neuter,” said FCSNP executive director Lauren Glickman. “We are a tiny organization with huge results.”

That’s an understatement, I thought as I toured the animal clinic on a beautiful Sunday morning in June. I was nearly overwhelmed by the speed, care and diligence with which every cat was fixed. In fact, this tight operation has fixed more than 66,000 cats since its inception in 1997 and continues at a rate of 200-plus cats per week.

Starting at home
While FCSNP was originally founded to spay/neuter the multitude of feral and freeroaming cats in the Greater Puget Sound area, currently, around 60 percent of the animals brought to the facility are owned cats. The requested donation from the public is just $25 for females and $15 for males.

Veterinarian at the FCSNP

This price point makes sterilization possible for any cat owner, and the shift to serve the public more frequently is a testimony to FCSNP’s success: The more the organization can reach out to cat owners to spay/neuter, the fewer feral cats are born onto the streets. As for the neighborhood watch, Rich said that cat colonies usually aggregate around a single food source: either waste food in a dumpster or compassionate individuals saving cats from starvation. But without population control, feeding freeroaming cats turns into feeding a colony of cats in a very short time. These cats have become feral because someone didn’t heed the call to fix their cat.

To learn more about the Alley Cat Project and the Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project, visit their websites at www.alleycatproject.org and www.feralcatproject.org. Donations can be made to either group through their websites. FCSNP maintains an Amazon wish list, an easy way to purchase specific items required for the spay/neuter clinics. The Alley Cat Project can use donations of clean towels and canned cat food. Most of all, they advise that owners make sure their cat is spayed or neutered.

CHRISTIE LAGALLY is a freelance pet columnist who manages the website Sniffing Out Home: A Search for Animal Welfare Solutions at http://www.sniffingouthome.org.

(C) Pacific Publishing Company

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