FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sue Kerr
The Manchester Cat Trap Launches June 16-19, 2021
Pittsburgh, PA.—June 19, 2021—The Manchester Cat Trap Project and Pet Food Distribution project will begin Wednesday, June 16 through June 19th. The all-volunteer group is dedicated to trapping, neutering, vaccinating, and releasing (TNVR) outdoor community cats in the Pittsburgh region . This event will take place in the Northside neighborhood of Manchester from June 16 to June 19, 2021.
Manchester residents have been working to co-exist with community cats who need affordable veterinary care and basic care. Residents who regularly trap, neuter/spay/, vaccinate, and release community cats are constantly juggling shrinking resources. It was determined that a “mass trapping” event could help cativists have a big local impact in a short amount of time. They teamed up with mobile TNVR veterinary non-profit, Fix’n Wag’n, to bring the resources into the community. Limited space to ‘hold’ the cats before and after the surgeries led to a decision to provide the veterinary care at Fix’n Wag’n home base in nearby Ross Township.
Manchester will be the site of a TNVR training on Wednesday, June 16 led by two experienced cat rescuers. This hour-long training is free to the public, but advanced registration is requested. Brighton Heights resident and cat advocate Tara Czekaj will co-lead this training and participate in other volunteer activities because she knows that a targeted approach is critical to help the cats.
“I volunteer in Manchester because I know the health and welfare of Manchester cats has a direct impact on my own Northside neighborhood,” says Czekaj who takes cats to Fix’n Wag’n clinics on a regular basis. “If we can actually trap and TNVR 50 cats from Manchester and nearby neighborhoods in one day, it will mean that 300 homeless kittens will not be born into this hard life. That, in turn, reduces the strain on the neighborhood which can then focus on caring for adult community cats.”
In addition to the TNVR, a pet food drive and distribution is being held to provide food supplies to Manchester residents committed for pets as well as community cats. The John P. Ruffing DVM Pet Food Projects has been soliciting donations of dry and canned dog and cat food. Residents of Manchester and the Greater Northside are asked to register to receive food. Food will be delivered by volunteers to minimize face to face contact and ensure the neighbors are safe.
“I’ve lived in Manchester for 16 years and have been actively working with homeless cats for the past four years,”says Sue Kerr, who championed the collaboration with Fix’n Wag’n and other partners.“We added the food distribution because we want to support our human neighbors who love their own pets and help feed community cats. We can’t just swoop in with a ‘cat lady’ solution and not invest in the residents who have lived here for many generations taking care of cats in different, but still important, ways.”
$70 HELPS A CAT
A female cat can get pregnant as young as 4 months old and if left unaltered she can produce on average 180 kittens in her lifetime. Neutering male cats stops the spread of infectious diseases among community cat populations. Female cats have an average of six surviving kittens each year. Male cats that are not neutered can breed countless kittens.
“These are not wildlife. They are domesticated animals who were born homeless and find ways to adapt in harsh environments,” says Czekaj. “We may not be able to give a home to each cat, but we can make sure they have food, clean water, and protection from the elements, as well as veterinary care.”
Experts say that TNVR is the most effective way to give the cats a healthy life, but also has benefits for the community including fewer fights over food and territory, lower rates of disease, and a truly natural resource for pest and rodent control.
The fundraising goal is $5,000 to TNVR 30 to 50 cats, mitigating the birth of roughly 300 homeless kittens. Additionally, the goal for pet food distribution is thirty homes in Manchester, giving priority to those that care for their community cats by feeding and providing shelter in the winter months. The spay/neuter package costs $70 and includes a spay or neuter, FVRCP vaccine (feline distemper), rabies vaccine, flea treatment, ear mite treatment if needed, and an ear tip for the outdoor community cats. The ear tip is a universal sign to any ‘cat lady’ that the cat has been TNVRd.
The project still needs to raise $1500 to subsidize 50 TNVR’s and additional funds for supplies and materials as well as the food drive. Organizers hope the Manchester business community will step up to invest in a project that directly improves the quality of their local business presence.
“TNVR is a scientifically proven best practice to control community cat populations,” says Kerr. “As long as individuals fail to spay/neuter their cats or do dump/abandon their cats when they are inconvenient, there will be community cats. Finding a way to co-exist is what’s best for the entire community.”
Beyond Fix’n Wag’n event sponsors include State Senator Wayne Fontana, State Representative Emily Kinkead, Animal Friends, Humane Animal Rescue, Danielle Graham Robinson Realty, No Dog Left Behind, Dravosburg Veterinary Hospital, Bier’s Pub, Giant Eagle, Healthy Pet Products, and Mr. Sign.
- TNVR Donations:
- GoFundMe: https://gofund.me/99c65bfe
- Venmo @pghlesbian
- CashApp @pghlesbian
- Food donations: A memorial fund has been established to honor the late Dr. John P. Ruffing VMD where donations can be made via Amazon wish lists below or you can drop food items off directly at Mr. Sign at 1316 Western Avenue Pittsburgh PA 15233 on the Northside during business hours. Shipments are accepted and drop-offs can be scheduled by contacting them directly. This drive will be ongoing.
- For more information on the events, visit bit.ly/ManchesterCat
Media and photo friendly opportunities
- TNVR training Wednesday June 16 6:30 – 8 PM in Manchester
- Food distribution Saturday July 19 starting at 11 AM in Manchester
- Clinic Saturday July 19 with advance scheduling to speak with the veterinary staff and photograph the TNVRd cats in Ross Township. 10-11 AM, 2-4 PM
Fix’n Wag’n is a 501c3 mobile TNVR veterinary clinic that travels through Western Pennsylvania providing affordable care. https://fixnwagn.com/
The Dr. John R. Ruffing VMD Pet Food Projects collects and distributes dog and cat food to support neighbors in the region. Access to nourishing food is essential for the health and welfare of all pets. The project honors Dr. Ruffing, a much loved veterinarian who passed at age 41 in 2007.
Pittsburgh Northside Cat Ladies and Friends is an informal collaboration of Northside residents with an interest in community cats. More information can be found at facebook.com/groups/PghCatLadies/
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