Kitten Street Team Hits Milestone
by Lee Chambers
Benjamin was a very elusive feline. Part of a pack of community cats, he was the only one who had so far avoided being humanely trapped by Dakin’s specially-trained volunteer Kitten Street Team, brought in for spay/neuter surgery, and returned to the outdoor colony (a process known as trap/neuter/return or TNR). Then an innovative volunteer devised a plan.
“Benjamin would not go near a regular trap,” recalled Anna Marie. “He had to be drop-trapped, but doing so in his usual location was impossible. There was nowhere for me to hide and pull the drop down.” Anna eventually caught the handsome orange tiger by luring him to another spot, creating a double celebration. Not only was he the final TNR in his colony, he was also the 100th cat captured by the Team. It took three months to round up the 21 cats and kittens in Benjamin’s group.
Dakin’s Kitten Street Team was created last spring to help control feral cat populations. TNR is an effective way to prevent unwanted litters of kittens born to feral mothers. Outdoor living is dangerous; half the kittens born in feral litters don’t survive their first year, and 75% of feral kittens will die of disease by adulthood. Those brought into Dakin by the Kitten Street Team are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, then considered for adoption if they are socialized to people.
Adult cats captured by the Team are also given vaccines to prevent rabies and an ear tip (while under anesthesia). The tip is painless for them and is a standard marking that identifies that cat as having undergone spay/neuter surgery. So far, the Team has trapped 115 cats; 66 were spay/neutered and returned to their colonies, and 49 of them become adoption candidates.
Want to help vulnerable outdoor cats and kittens? Please visit our Amazon Wish List and see what items are most-needed by the Kitten Street Team to keep up their amazing work!
If you’d like to be part of this dynamic volunteer team, your first step is to take the TNR certification class offered by Community Cats Podcast/Neighborhood Cats. For more information, email us at Vol@dakinhumane.org.