TNR volunteers spend money on cats before they spend it on themselves

Often, TNR volunteers spend money on cats before they spend it on themselves, which is why Feral Friday's free spaying and neutering service provided by the Golden State Humane Society, in Long Beach, is so welcome. They don't operate the Friday service every week because of insufficient funding but on this occasion, on August 23, they operated the discount service because of a $1,500 grant from Petco Love, the pet supply company's non-profit foundation.

Registered Veterinary Technician Tracey Murphy, left, and Ruby Areilla prepare a cat for a neutering surgery at Golden State Human Society. Photo by Harry Saltzgaver, Grunion Gazette/SCNG
Registered Veterinary Technician Tracey Murphy, left, and Ruby Areilla prepare a cat for a neutering surgery at Golden State Human Society. Photo by Harry Saltzgaver, Grunion Gazette/SCNG.

Golden State's Executive Director, Alexandra Casswell, correctly stated that the volunteers won't stop. They really don't stop because they are driven by compassion. There is a huge body of people, nearly always women, who can't let feral cats struggle and starve and do nothing about it. 

They have to get involved. So, this service is a welcome relief to the expenditure which I'm going to guess is potentially or actually a constant worry because a lot of volunteers are on tight budgets. Perhaps they are women living alone who obtain a lot of satisfaction from what they do and rightly so.

The first Feral Friday event took place in October 2019. Golden State has neutered 88 feral cats with this discount service so far in 2021. They believe that in neutering 88 feral cats they have prevented the births of 352-562 kittens. That's a lot of pain and distress avoided.

These cats are probably better described as 'community cats' as they become semi-domesticated through their contact with the volunteers. Long Beach's Animal Care Services endorse the TNR programs.

In case you are unsure, TNR stands for trap-neuter-release which is the standard and most humane method of stabilising feral cat populations. It is far superior to the concept of elimination through inhumane means which almost invariably leads to the vacant space being occupied by incoming feral cats.

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