Season Ending Statistics and Stories

| December 1, 2012

Our trapping season is over for the year.  We don’t TNR outside cats in the winter because the females bellies are shaved, leaving them exposed to the elements.  Weather depending we start again anywhere between February and early April.  We’re taking reservations for next season. To get on the list, visit our website.

It’s been an interesting season.  CatVando registered 420 TNR’s or TNA’s.  We trained and supported a few dozen colony caretakers to TNR their own cats.  Some reluctant at first, doubtful about the process and their abilities, concerned about how their cats would be affected, then proud and relieved after they TNR’d their entire colony.

We help to change the lives of 60 cats, providing further medical care for ill or injured cats.  We worked with caretakers and neighbors to help bring harmony to the community by addressing the needs who don’t want cats on their property.*  We counseled dozens of people about a variety of cat related issues.  We’ve found wonderful homes for a number of cats and kittens.

We also were confronted with the frustration of people who don’t understand or are anti-TNR.  When it’s a municipality employee, things become much more difficult. Some municipalities, like Franklin Park, understand the importance of TNR and fully support it .   Just two incidences of municipalities in Leyden Township that don’t.

A Health Inspector in one area threatens then gives citations for feeding cats rather than providing information on TNR.  By ticketing she’s either forcing the feeders to feed at night (encouraging nocturnal to the food), or missing the opportunity to sterilize and vaccinate the cats coming to the food bowls.  Instead, they are being forced to roam the community searching for food, shelter and water, some becoming sick and susceptible to illness and, of course, procreate– adding to the population.  This particular community is overrun with rodents.  We’ve spent time in their court defending TNR and specific colony managers on a number of cat related issues.  It just makes sense to use the cats to take care of the rodents.  But instead, the cats are persecuted along with their feeders – that doesn’t make sense.

Another community we recently had contact with completely broke communication during a TNR project possibly causing the needless death of 5 of the 10 cats pictured – we’re still investigating.  In late September we TNR’d a colony of 10 adults and 18 kittens in an isolated community (previously overrun with rodents).  About a week after TNRing the colony, we were alerted to one person calling the village with anonymous (cowardly) complaints about the cats.   We agreed to delivering flyers and brochures to the entire neighborhood about TNR, the project, the Ordinance and offered to help with solutions about cat deterrent*   We spoke with a number of residents who were glad the cats were there, either they liked seeing them or liked that they put an end to the horrific former rodent problem.  A couple of days later, we were informed a neighbor borrowed a village trap. (The village lends traps, the resident traps the cat and the township picks them up and takes them to their contracted agency to be kill or possible adoption if friendly – most are feral or frightened enough to act like it)  We retrieved the cat and returned it to its territory with a message from the village saying we would be alerted to any further traps being loaned in the area.  A couple of weeks later we found that 5 of the cats had disappeared. We contacted the village and were met with a distant formality.  Upon visiting the village, we learned the village attorneys were looking over the ordinance to see what they want to do with it and no further information would be forthcoming unless we complete a FOIA until the attorneys made their recommendations.    5 cats or more now, may be dead because of one person in a community with the cooperation of the village and township.  This is wrong on so many levels.  That one person’s wishes and actions override that of other residents in the community isn’t right.  That the village ‘fight’ what has been proven to be the most humane, effective, economical method of stabilizing the cat populations in their community and thwart our efforts to help is a bullheaded outmoded waste of time and energy all while the cat populations and rodent populations continue to explode.  It’s also illegal.  Any time a tipped cat is trapped anywhere in Cook County, the Sponsoring Agency should be contacted to attempt to return the cat to it’s colony.  The County Ordinance overrules all local ordinances as proven at court last summer.  See our website for Bridgeview vs Cook County.   Even more frustrating is while talking to one of the village officials, he boasted he took care of his neighbors cats that were bugging him.  He trapped them all and took them in to be killed.  That was 10 years ago.  Is he going to look at the solution provided by the Ordinance and TNR with an open mind?  What should be a simple solution is made complicated by ignorance and prejudice.

So yes, it’s been a long season.  Please spay and neuter your pets.  Educate yourself on the plight of street cats and the efficacy of TNR.  When you consider adoptions consider our cats. We’re on petfinder, fb ‘like’ CatVando TNR and we’re at Pet Supplies Plus on Foster at Harlem every Saturday 11-3pm.  And, be sure to get on the list for next spring!

At CatVando our wish for you this season is that you surround yourself with love during the holiday and throughout the year.

*If you DON’T want cats on your property, spread coffee grounds around the perimeter. About 3’ in should do it. Don’t stop there; if you put it all over your yard your yard will love you!  Earth worms love coffee grounds.  Earth worms are the best fertilizer for any dirt, whether it bares grass, flowers, vegetables or shrubs.  They aerate the soil and their waste is pure fertilizer! (Synthetic fertilizer kills worms)  Talk about a win win with a humane, inexpensive, simple solution.  

CatVando is an all-volunteer not for profit corporation.  Our mission is to help reduce and care for cats living in our streets through a Comprehensive Trap Neuter Return Program.,  Like CatVando TNR on fb to follow our activities.


Sunday, December 16 4-6pm
In Celebration and Appreciation For Cats and Nothing “CATTY”, just an old fashion Thank you for your help and support and for TNRing your cats this past year. Please join us to celebrate YOU! Skrine Chops, 7230 W Madison, 2nd floor. Food will be provided (by Stephanie Skrine!).  Have a ‘Kitty’ cocktail at a special price, otherwise, cash bar.  Bring a dessert if you’d like.” Mewsic”, raffles and more!  Donations accepted!  Sponsored by CatVando

Saturdays, 11am – 3pm
CatVando Adoption Event

Pet Supplies Plus, Foster @ Harlem

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