Twelve years ago, Hurricane Katrina left chaos in its wake. Animal welfare agencies across the country hustled to get animals to safety, but the scope of such a massive response made it difficult to coordinate efforts. Sometimes it was hard to tell who was in charge of what, who had the authority to make decisions, or where animals had gone post-evacuation.
When the trailer finally pulled to a stop, the horses shuffled nervously as the rear door rolled open. One by one they exited the trailer, hooves clopping slowly down the metal ramp. The place they’d come to wasn’t home, but it was just as good—a resting place where wounds, both visible and hidden, could be healed.
You don’t need to sell most people on the perks of adopting a puppy or kitten—anyone can see that they’re tiny, fluffy and fun—but what about the perks of senior animals? They’re usually trained, calm and don’t pounce on your feet in the middle of the night. More and more shelters and rescues are touting these benefits, as well as addressing potential adopters’ concerns about caring for older pets, so seniors get a chance to live out their golden years in loving homes.
Trap-neuter-return (TNR) takes time, persistence and a huge amount of patience. It’s worth it, because when done right, TNR works. But if you’re scattering your efforts across a large geographic area, your program won’t have the impact you envisioned. To achieve the promise of TNR—healthier, safer cats and fewer outdoor felines—you need to focus on target areas and engage residents in the project. Learn the basics of targeted TNR in our “101” department, and start working smarter, not harder, to manage community cat populations.