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Magazine Articles

  • Magazine Article

    Neighbor-Hood watch

    In Virginia, a complex hoarding situation led to the founding of Operation Hood, a feline rescue and trap-neuter-return nonprofit.

    In Virginia, community joins law enforcement to address out-of-control cat colony

    Summer 2018

    When Alyssa Ellison started working as an animal control officer in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, in 2013, the sheriff ’s office was fielding as many as 80 calls a month about a group of cats near the city of Fredericksburg.

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  • Magazine Article

    Smart lending practices

    At Operation Catnip’s trap-loan depot (and office space), volunteer coordinator Kate Boisseau shows a caregiver how to set a trap.

    A little technology and methodology can help protect your investment in TNR equipment

    Spring 2018

    As trap-neuter-return (TNR) becomes the default solution for managing community cat populations, shelters and rescues might find they are lending more traps than ever before. But failing to keep track of that equipment can be an expensive mistake. Leading TNR organizations now use both low- and high-tech solutions to keep traps in circulation while safeguarding their investment.

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  • Magazine Article

    Smart lending practices

    At Operation Catnip’s trap-loan depot (and office space), volunteer coordinator Kate Boisseau shows a caregiver how to set a trap.

    A little technology and methodology can help protect your investment in TNR equipment

    Spring 2018

    As trap-neuter-return (TNR) becomes the default solution for managing community cat populations, shelters and rescues might find they are lending more traps than ever before. But failing to keep track of that equipment can be an expensive mistake. Leading TNR organizations now use both low- and high-tech solutions to keep traps in circulation while safeguarding their investment.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Reconcilable differences

    By piecing together their expertise, community cat advocates and conservationists can maximize the effectiveness of trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs.

    Wildlife biologist helps chart a new path for cat advocates and conservationists

    Fall 2017

    The work of protecting animals is always challenging, but it becomes even thornier when the interests of different species seem to be in conflict. Such scenarios aren’t limited to cats and wildlife, but as trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs have become more common, community cats have taken center stage in the animals vs. animals debate.

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  • Magazine Article

    Working-class cats

    Milly was placed at a small farm in Manassas, Virginia in April. "She patrols the crops and has made friends with the resident chickens!" says the Humane Rescue Alliance's Erin Robinson.

    Through an urban relocation program, a D.C. shelter finds places—and jobs—for its last-chance cats

    Web Exclusives

    “Enjoy the lovely Dupont Circle fountain amongst our furry city companions,” recommends the reviewer, awarding the “Dupont Circle Rat Sanctuary” five stars on Yelp. The sanctuary is a “wonderful place for 100% organic, free-range rats to frolic in a safe environment without predators,” says another, awarding it four stars, plus the extra-large rodents are “healthy strong riding stock,” a fellow Yelper adds.

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  • Magazine Article

    Born free-roaming

    A cat from Baltimore’s Cherry Hill neighborhood awaits surgery.

    Return-to-field programs reassess ‘the right thing’ for community cats

    Summer 2017

    Until recently, Miami-Dade County Animal Services in Florida was drowning in cats and burdened with low live-release rates. Yet today, the shelter is achieving largely positive outcomes. The turnaround can be traced to a commonsense change in policy: The shelter now vets and returns the majority of cats it receives. Learn why the return-to-field approach is sometimes the most logical and humane strategy for overburdened shelters.

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  • Magazine Article

    Born free-roaming

    A cat from Baltimore’s Cherry Hill neighborhood awaits surgery.

    Return-to-field programs reassess ‘the right thing’ for community cats

    Summer 2017

    Until recently, Miami-Dade County Animal Services in Florida was drowning in cats and burdened with low live-release rates. Yet today, the shelter is achieving largely positive outcomes. The turnaround can be traced to a commonsense change in policy: The shelter now vets and returns the majority of cats it receives. Learn why the return-to-field approach is sometimes the most logical and humane strategy for overburdened shelters.

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  • Magazine Article

    Not here, kitty, kitty

    Gardens and landscaping can present tempting lounging spots, but not every homeowner welcomes community cats.

    Practical solutions can keep community cats away from areas where they’re not welcome

    Summer 2017

    High- and low-tech solutions keep community cats away from where they're not wanted.

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  • Magazine Article

    Herding cat stats

    A free online database helps trap-neuter-return programs track community cat colonies, as well as caretaker details and other information.

    Free online software helps TNR programs track colony data and more

    Web Exclusives

    Do you know where your community cats are?

    That was the inspiration behind the customized database system Neighborhood Cats developed in 2007, which is designed to make caretakers and volunteer trappers part of the data-entry effort.

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  • Magazine Article

    Don’t push the panic button on toxoplasmosis

    Because infected cats only shed Toxoplasma gondii once in their lifetimes, sterilized community cats in stable colonies present minimal risk of spreading the parasite.

    To advocate for cats, you need to separate the facts from the hype

    Spring 2017

    Decades ago, it wasn’t uncommon for pregnant women to hear that they needed to give up their pet cats to reduce their risk of contracting toxoplasmosis. More recently, detractors of trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs have capitalized on the misunderstandings surrounding toxoplasmosis to foster opposition to community cat spay/neuter efforts. So whether you’re working the intake desk at your local shelter or operating a TNR program, you need to know the facts about this disease.

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  • Magazine Article

    Thanks for the tip

    <em>Animal Sheltering</em> magazine January/February 2017

    Download this Mouthpiece to help your community identify cats that have been sterilized and vaccinated

    January/February 2017

    Your community may not know what it means to ear-tip a cat. Download this Mouthpiece to help people identify ear-tipped cats and encourage them to help reduce outdoor cat populations.

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  • Magazine Article

    All hands on deck in Virginia

    Caitlyn McIntosh checks out a newly captured kitten at Naval Station Norfolk. Military regulations prohibit trap-neuter-return, so McIntosh is leading a joint military-civilian effort to sterilize and rehome the estimated 100 cats and kittens living on the base.

    Sailors and civilians join forces to help cats at naval station

    January/February 2017

    The September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance was established to honor the victims of a national tragedy through acts of service that foster a spirit of unity and compassion. One such charitable act took place this past Sept. 11, when an active-duty member of the Navy transported two feral cats to their new home at the Bluemont, Virginia, Boulder Crest Retreat, a nonprofit wellness center for military members and veterans.

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  • Magazine Article

    All hands on deck in Virginia

    Caitlyn McIntosh checks out a newly captured kitten at Naval Station Norfolk. Military regulations prohibit trap-neuter-return, so McIntosh is leading a joint military-civilian effort to sterilize and rehome the estimated 100 cats and kittens living on the base.

    Sailors and civilians join forces to help cats at naval station

    January/February 2017

    The September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance was established to honor the victims of a national tragedy through acts of service that foster a spirit of unity and compassion. One such charitable act took place this past Sept. 11, when an active-duty member of the Navy transported two feral cats to their new home at the Bluemont, Virginia, Boulder Crest Retreat, a nonprofit wellness center for military members and veterans.

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  • Magazine Article

    Raising rates in Indiana

    Staffers at Almost Home Humane Society in Indiana celebrate after a 48-hour adoption event in 2013.

    Shelter’s philosophical overhaul opens floodgates of community support

    November/December 2016

    It can take a bit of courage and disregard for the status quo to achieve great change for animals. At Almost Home Humane Society in Indiana, staff revamped the organization’s policies and programs to increase their live-release rate to more than 90 percent. The improvements, from the basic (holding creative, attention-getting adoption promotions) to the more involved (lobbying city officials for friendlier community cat policies) are proof of what shelters can accomplish when they let go of fear-based policies—and bring fresh ideas and energy to their lifesaving programs.

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  • Magazine Article

    The art of compromise

    Veterinary technician Adria Johnson vaccinates a community cat at the FACE Animal Clinic in Indianapolis.

    Giving a little to address public health concerns related to community cats

    November/December 2016

    Sandra Norman is a veterinarian for the Indiana State Board of Animal Health and director of its companion animal/equine division. She’s also a staunch advocate of trap-neuter-return (TNR) for community cats. Although that might seem an odd combination, Norman describes her approach as “everyone has to give a little.” That philosophy helps her navigate the often complex situations in which human health and animal welfare goals may appear to conflict.

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  • Magazine Article

    On target

    More organizations are taking a targeted approach to managing free-roaming cats and ensuring that their numbers dwindle over time.

    A focused approach to TNR yields more effective population control

    September/October 2016

    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.

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  • Magazine Article

    Trap-neuter-return on a state scale

    In Delaware, a statewide trap-neuter-return program is improving the lives of community cats like these tabbies, who are part of a colony sterilized by Forgotten Cats.

    Government agency and humane groups join forces for Delaware’s community cats

    September/October 2016

    Given the often inflated concerns batted about in the media about public health threats from community cats, the fact that there is a managed community cat colony on the New Castle campus of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services may be surprising. Not only is the agency supportive of trap-neuter-return (TNR) as a tool to reduce the state’s free-roaming cat population and limit disease transmission, it is also home to the state’s Office of Animal Welfare.

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  • Magazine Article

    Out of the lions’ den

    California shelter transforms kittens who roar into ones who purr

    July/August 2016

    A California shelter tames feral kittens.

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  • Magazine Article

    Out of the lions’ den

    California shelter transforms kittens who roar into ones who purr

    July/August 2016

    A California shelter tames feral kittens.

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  • Magazine Article

    Love on the lease

    Las Vegas apartment complex takes a winning approach to community cats

    May/June 2016

    Tonja Bradford, property manager of The Palms Apartments in Las Vegas, takes pride in making sure that her residents’ needs are met, that they enjoy the spacious grounds the property has to offer, and that the apartment complex is a safe and happy home.

    And the dozens of community cats who call The Palms home are grateful.

    “It wasn’t like we decided to open a feral cat B&B; it just kind of happened,” explains Bradford, who has managed the 200-unit property for six years.

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  • Magazine Article

    The modern cat caretaker

    Krista Rakovan, an HSUS staffer and volunteer colony caretaker in Maryland, puts fresh straw in a cat shelter in preparation for winter.

    Tips for taking your colony care to a higher level

    March/April 2016

    Community cat advocates share tips for taking your colony care to the next level.

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  • Magazine Article

    Good colonies make good neighbors

    Trap-neuter-return, smart caretaking practices and proactive neighborhood diplomacy are key to helping community cats coexist peacefully with the people around them.

    With diplomacy and problem-solving skills, advocates can create a harmonious relationship between community cats and the people around them

    January/February 2016

    When she got the complaint that stray cats were “using the restroom” on the sidewalk in front of a church, Renee Clark was skeptical, but she drove over to study the droppings in question. “It was pretty obvious that the poop there wasn’t cat waste; it was probably raccoon,” says Clark, an environmental biologist and feline advocate in Staunton, Va.

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  • Magazine Article

    Tapping into the power of people

    By engaging the community in Tree House Humane Society’s TNR program, Jenny Schlueter (right) says she likes to “imagine cats bridging the divide between people.”

    An open, inclusive approach to community cat management spurs positive results

    January/February 2016

    Jenny Schlueter, a self-professed “cat lady,” is also a people-person. You know the type—always ready with a sunny smile and genuinely happy to meet someone new. If that description doesn’t fit you to a T, you’re not alone. But Schlueter’s experiences can help even the most introverted cat advocate see the benefits of engaging with people.

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  • Magazine Article

    Yes, in our backyard

    Nikki Holladay, a staff member with Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, prepares food and water for the colony of feral cats who live on the shelter's grounds.

    Turning the NIMBY attitude on its head, some shelters care for feral cat colonies onsite

    January/February 2013

    A decade ago, Lisa Tudor, executive director of IndyFeral, never imagined that she’d one day be working with Indianapolis Animal Care & Control to help save the feral cats who live around the municipal shelter.

    Her nonprofit group “had been doing TNR in the city, and we knew that there had been cats on the [shelter’s] property forever,” says Tudor. “We had tried before [to get permission to TNR the cats], but it never went anywhere.”

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