This past weekend I had the chance to be involved in an awesome program that is run through the program here at the Atlantic Vet College. It is completely volunteer based, run on donations and grants, and is a great contribution to the animal community. The program is called Cat Action and is a trap, neuter (or spay), and release (TNR) program run by the community. There are many aspects to the program, such as maintenance and monitoring of the feral cat population on PEI. However, I was involved in the TNR at the school.
Basically, feral cats are brought to us. The cats are trapped using humane methods and then come to us for a day at the “spa,” shall I say. Once they’re in our care, a team consisting of a first, second, third, and fourth year with the help of school veterinarians and professors takes care of the cat. We vaccinate and do FIV/FELV testing, put on some flea and tick medication (all of which are donated by some great drug companies) and then, depending on whether it’s a boy or girl, either neuter or spay the kitty. The cat is then ear tattooed so we can know for future reference if it’s been trapped and released before. It’s a great hands-on experience for us, and it’s also great for the kitty community.
Cat Action is essential for maintaining the health of the feral cat community on PEI. Cats are awesome to have around, but they can quickly reproduce, meaning the population can also get quickly out of hand. Like any other ecosystem, if populations get out of hand, it means none of the animals are getting the resources they need and it also means they can affect wildlife populations. It may seem cruel to take them out of their environment and mess with them, but it’s really for the best.
Here’s the link for more info on this awesome program! I’m looking forward to participating in it in the future.