Edmonton Humane Society hosts first trap-neuter-return clinic to help address feral cat overpopulation
The humane society in Edmonton hosted its first trap-neuter-return clinic Saturday as it works with the Canadian Animal Task Force to help address feral cat overpopulation in Alberta.
Eighty-nine cats were part of the clinic, including 58 adults and 31 kittens. They were located at one rural property northeast of Edmonton.
Each of the adult cats part of the clinic will be spayed or neutered and then returned to the colony after they have recovered.
Kittens, who are more likely to be socialized, will be hosted at the humane society until they can be spayed or neutered. They will then go up for adoption.
“We want to make sure that the animals that are living in our community are health and safe, and that we are protecting the wildlife and the rest of the environment,” Liza Sunley, CEO of Edmonton Humane Society said.
“Events like this help us humanely provide that spay and neuter service,” she added.
All the cats from the colony are healthy, Sunley said. They were trapped on Friday, will undergo surgery on Saturday, and be released as early as Sunday.
On top of being spayed or neutered, each feline gets a permeant ID, is treated for parasites, and vaccinated.
The Edmonton Humane Society became aware of the feral cat colony in conjunction with the Canadian Animal Task Force.
“We were really grateful that we could support this,” Sunley said. “It’s a big effort.”
Sunley added that they are aware of many rural feral cat colonies throughout the region.
“We’ve been working with our partners with the Canadian Animal Task Force who work specifically in this area to help us identify where those colonies are and how we can be involved in solving this problem.”
FERAL CAT OVERPOPULATION AN ISSUE ACROSS CANADA
“Most people recognize the importance of spaying and neutering their animals but when they’re caring for a large volume of feral animals there’s several barriers preventing people to get their animals in,” said R.J. Bailot, executive director and co-founder of the Canadian Animal Task Force.
“Right now throughout Canada we see there is a cat issue,” he added. “Shelters are usually at capacity, they become a nuisance to neighbouring properties, and then of course there’s the health issues. When cat’s go without veterinary care, we see a lot of health issues.”
Bailot said that before running a trap-neuter-return clinic, the Canadian Animal Task Force ensures the cats have safe place to return to.
While this is the first collaboration between the task force and the humane society in Edmonton, Bailot added that they’ve worked throughout the province before. The task force has spayed and neutered more than 15,000 animals since its inception in 2007.
“We work in very remote areas and into urban settings, because there is a cat issue in every part of the province,” he said.
According to Bailot, the task force receives three requests a week for their assistance with feral cat colonies.
“Every two weeks, right now, the Canadian Animal Task Force is doing a clinic,” he said.
All of the work is completed by volunteers and driven by donations to the Canadian Animal Task Force and any collaborating partners, like the Edmonton Humane Society.
Running a clinic costs anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000.
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