Tree House Humane Society had high hopes for World Spay Day this year. The organization was offering free spay and neuter services for feral cats in the hopes of “fixing” 50 cats in advance of kitten season.
The organization did two mass trapping projects on Monday and pulled 26 homeless cats off the streets for the program. By the end of the day Tuesday, 55 cats had been either spayed or neutered for free as part of Tree House’s Spay-a-thon. It was a record day for the organization.
As part of a trap-neuter-return program – or TNR – Tree House traps free roaming cats, spays or neuters them, ear tips them and returns feral cats to their colony. Friendly strays are accepted into their adoption program or networked to other partners. With spring right around the corner, these programs become even more important.
Getting an early handle on kitten season
Unfixed females mean an influx of stray kittens to area shelters when kitten season kicks in during the spring and summer. Many of the females pulled off the streets Monday were already pregnant and won’t be adding to Chicago’s homeless pet population any longer. Chicago Animal Care and Control euthanizes thousands of cats each year because there aren’t enough homes for everyone.
If you live in Chicago and have stray or feral cats in your neighborhood, reach out to Tree House for help. It’s important to note that the organization offers workshops, traps and other help all year long for neighborhood TNR projects. They also offer free spay/neuter surgeries for feral cats throughout the year.
There are some additional fees for feral cats to be in compliance with Chicago’s Managed Care of Feral Cats Ordinance. Those fees include deworming, vaccinations and other services for just $30. There are subsidies available usually to help those that need assistance.
Starting in April, the organization hopes to offer free TNR packages in the 60651, 6047 and two other zip codes on Chicago’s West side. Their goal is to spay/neuter 5,000 cats this year in addition to the shelter’s resident cats.
Help in other communities
If you live in Lake County, Illinois, you can learn more about TNR at Spay and Stay’s Caretakers Meeting this Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon at Mundelein High school. Spay and Stay will cover trapping, kitten socialization and more. Questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-289-4557.
In Cook County in and around Wheeling, reach out to the Feral Feline Project for information on managing the community cat population. Another organization – Catvando – also provides TNR services on suburban Cook County. In the western suburbs, contact Triple R Pets.
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