By Andy Labdon.
Wadena Town council and administration are taking a slightly different tack on the ‘round up’ up of stray cats from a suggestion made by the Waggin’ Wheelz Veterinary Clinic in Wynyard. The decision to trap, neuter, and now release, or TNR follows the example of successful projects in New York City and other cities and towns in Canada.
“This new approach will reduce the cost to the town,” says Chief Administration Officer (CAO) Ferne Hebig. Previously the town has paid approximately $185 per cat, which includes the initial capture, boarding, neutering or euthanizing, dependant on whether the cat is a pet or feral.
“From now on when a cat is caught, veterinary personnel will determine whether the cat is domesticated or feral. If domesticated, the animal will be kept for 48 hours for the owners to claim and if not claimed, it will more than likely be adopted out. In the case of feral cats, they will be spayed or neutered and have one ear notched to show it’s been neutered then released back to where it was trapped,” explained Hebig. Regardless of whether a cat is feral or domesticated, they are not likely to be euthanized unless in the opinion of the vet is in poor health with a likelihood of recovering minimal.
The problem of catching and euthanizing feral cats as New Yorkers found out, was as soon as a cat, was removed, another would come in and take its place thus increasing the population. Implementing the TNR, New Yorkers saw a decline in intakes for adoption and a decrease in euthanasia. An unexpected bonus was a reduction in the rat population.