We hope you will join us for a mini “mass trapping” event of homeless and feral cats in the Manchester neighborhood on the Northside. The date is Saturday June 19 and the location is “near my backyard” along Faulsey Way.
What are we doing?
We are TNVRing (Trap, Neuter/Spay, Vaccinate, Return) feral cats from the Manchester neighborhoods and beyond if resources allow. Volunteers will be out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning trapping cats and holding them until clinic time. Our clinic will be Saturday June 19 starting at 11 AM at the Fix’n Wag’n on McKnight Road. After surgery, the cats will be transported back to the caretakers and released as appropriate.
The Dr. John P. Ruffing Pet Food Projects will host a pet food distribution of cat and dog food to residents of Manchester. These items will be delivered by volunteers, no walk/drive ups.
How many animals are you serving?
We hope to TNVR 20-50 cats depending on how much money we raise. Each TNVR costs $70.
In terms of pet food, we are aiming for 300 households (which is probably super ambitious.)
Why are you doing this?
The colony I care for in Manchester has upwards of 25 cats. Some live there, some eat there. They all deserve veterinary care. I’ve been trapping since January and have TNVRd 12 cats so far. Half went into foster care or back to their owners; the other half were released. Since then several more have shown up – I joke that the abandoned house at the colony is a portal for cats. So a mass trapping seems a more effective way to get ahead of the curve and then use ongoing TNVR to address new cats or unexpected health needs. More effective and more efficient.
It isn’t just my colony. In a four street area, there are nearly a dozen feeders/caretakers. The calico who comes to my feeding station also goes to eat at a location on Hopkins Street where she spends the day in a shelter.
If we spay or neuter at least 20 of these cats, we will prevent the births of at least 120 kittens over the next 12 months. That’s 6 kittens on average for the females and God-Knows-How-Many for the males. If those 120 kittens are born, they will also produce another 6 kittens their first year of life while their moms continue to produce 6 kittens and you can see how the math adds up to a lot of homeless cats.
So it is a numbers game. It is effective and efficient to raise the funds in one fell swoop and TNVR as many cats as possible in a defined area at one time.
What about the food distribution?
Manchester has a lot of good people with pets. This is a logical way to give back to them on behalf of the community. Too often, well-intended volunteers swoop into communities with “good ideas” and little participation or investment by the community.
I have built a local Facebook group of over 100 Northsiders, incuding many in Manchester. Distributing pet food is a good side project here to promote information about pet ownership, such as the City vouchers for free spay and neuters. We will also provide food to the colony caretakers. We want to leave the cat colonies and their human neighbors in better shape than we found them.
Will any of the cat be adoptable?
That’s hard to tell. The trappers will evaluate as possible and if we have any ‘friendlies’ or kittens, we will reach out to local animal rescue groups to see if they can take them in. There will be no adoptable cats at the event.
At the Fix’n Wag’n clinic, they will be parked next to the Kitty Queen Rescue which has a cat and kitten lounge. So you can meet and possibly adopt kittens and cat.
Do you need volunteers?
Yep! We need trappers and neighbors to hold the trapped cats before and after surgery. We need transporters to drive the cats to and from the clinic. We need loaders and drivers to deliver the pet food. We need someone to stuff bags ahead of time with information. We need photographers to document the day. We need people to hold pet food drives starting now.
Do you need donations?
Also, yep. We need to raise at least $1400 and as much as $5000 to pay for the TNVR procedures.
Pet food donations can be delivered to Mr. Sign 1316 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233
You can also purchase items from our wishlist that will be autoshipped to Mr. Sign http://bit.ly/DrRuffingPetFood
Can I get my pet cat spayed if I live in Manchester?
No, this event is set up specifically for trapped feral cats. We will have information available on City sponsored spay and neuter vouchers, along with other programs.
How do I sign up?
We are working on the registration forms.
Do you need to borrow traps?
Yes! Please email [email protected] if you can lend us a trap or traps.
What else do these cats need?
Food, treats, shelters, someone to care about their fates.
Can I join the Facebook group?
Why is the food drive named after Dr. John P. Ruffing?
John was a highly regarded veterinarian who passed tragically in 2007 at age 41. He was also my best friend for many, many years. When I began organizing food drives, I realized it was a good way to honor his legacy so with his family’s permission – here we are.
So you need financial donations, donations of pet food, and volunteers?
Yes, that sums it up. And snacks.
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