The reason my mom and I decided to sell jewelry through our BeadedTail shop was to raise funds for animal awareness causes. Each month I donate the proceeds from our shop to a worthy animal charity. In October the chosen charity was Alley Cat Allies and I want to share what I've learned from them about feral cats and bring awareness to issues resulting in the deaths of countless cats every day. Here are some of the things that we need to be aware about:
- Over 70% of cats are killed in our nation’s animal control pounds and shelters. That number jumps to virtually 100% for feral cats.
- A revolutionary change in shelter practice and policy is needed that protects the lives of cats, and there is a movement pushing for change.
- There are multiple programs that are a humane method of care for all cats, including affordable, accessible spay and neuter services available to everyone and Trap-Neuter-Return programs for feral cats.
The issue of feral cats is very near and dear to my heart because the alley behind my husband's and my first house was home to many feral cats. Of course I befriended several of them and one even was brave enough to come into our house but didn't want to be touched very much. Our two kitties, Reebok and Panther, were actually orphaned feral kitties that we found in the alley and raised from the bottle into adulthood. We lost Reebok to cancer in 2001 and Panther was 18 years old when she passed away in 2006.
What I have since learned from the information provided by Alley Cat Allies is that if anyone had taken those feral cats into a non-no kill shelter thinking they were helping the cats by getting them off the streets, there would be no chance of adoption and the cats would be killed. The reason being is that shelters handle adoptable cats and one that is afraid of humans certainly doesn't fit that criteria.
I just want to spread the word and let people know that feral cats do not belong in animal shelters. If you come across some feral kitties that you want to help, please check out Alley Cat Allies website for information. Together we can educate others about the need for Trap-Neuter-Return programs to reduce the cat population and keep feral cats out of shelters. We can make a difference and save lives!