Yolo County Animal Shelter Friends - Community Cats Program Introduction
Community Cats - What Are They?
Community cat is the description given to any "free-roaming" cat. These are cats who primarily live out of doors. They may or may not have a primary caretaker/owner. Some of these cats may be feral - not socialized to people and behave more like wild animals. Some may be friendly.
These are cats who have found a way to survive outside of a person's home. They may be fed by a caretaker or they may forage on their own for food in their environment.
What Happens to Community Cats?
Until recently, most communities thought the only way to manage free-roaming cats was to try to capture them and put them to sleep if not able to live in a home. Some groups focused on managing the population of free roaming cats in their area by trapping the cats, having them surgically sterilized (spayed or neutered) so that they couldn't reproduce, and then returning them to their original location. This is called TNR - Trap-Neuter-Release. Although TNR programs can be successful if a specific area is targeted and funding is available for the program, we have found that TNR alone has not been able to drastically reduce the number of free-roaming cats. This has resulted in community cats being brought into animal shelters in large numbers. For community cats without a caretaker/owner there is no one to come to the shelter and redeem them. Many of these cats are not socialized with people or are not well suited to living in a home.
In the past many of these community cats had to be euthanized at animal shelters due to a lack of other options.
What is the Yolo Community Cats Program?
The Yolo Community Cats Program is a new program to deal with free roaming cats in Yolo County, California. The Yolo County Animal Services (YCAS) Shelter in Woodland, California, is the area's local animal shelter. In the past YCAS has been forced to euthanize (put to sleep) large numbers of free-roaming cats each year. Despite this, the population of free roaming cats in the area has not decreased and significant numbers of these cats come into the shelter every day.
As recommended by the University of California Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program, and in acknowledgement of the lack of success of a traditional approach to dealing with free-roaming cats, especially those characterized as feral/fearful/aggressive, YCAS is changing its policy of cat intake.
Yolo County Animal Services will no longer act as aresource for euthanasia of healthy, free-roaming cats in the community.The shelter will be limiting intake of all cats tomatch their capacity to care for them and find them appropriate homes if healthy and adoptable, find them a rescue or trap neuter and return option if healthy but not adoptable, or provide them with needed care or humane euthanasia if sick, injured, aged, orphaned or dangerously aggressive.
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Click HERE to see what ONE female cat can produce with her offspring - You'll be amazed!
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