Sunday, November 20, 2011

TNR, Tired & No Relief

OK, that's not what TNR really stands for. It is "Trap Neuter and Release." It is the acronym for one method of trying to address the feral cat over population problem. I whole-heartedly stand by it's intended premise. It is designed so that we, (the kind-hearted compassionate group of us who think that cats are the responsibility of mankind who domesticated them in the first place), have a safe responsible alternative to catching and killing because there aren't enough homes for all of the cats in this world.

About three times a year JVC (Jarrettsville Vet, my clinic) hosts the local TNR. The TNR is set up and run by the most kind generous bunch of people. They organize, co-ordinate, set-up, sedate, vaccinate, treat, care for, assist with surgery and dote over some of the saddest felines imaginable. They donate a huge number of hours in making sure that these cats needs are addressed and provided for. Some of these cats have never known human kindness before, and some are down right vicious with fear. But these volunteers never get frustrated or quarrelsome. I quite frankly don't know how they do it. I do however understand why they do it. They all share a desire to help a species that is often overlooked, under appreciated, and often viewed as 'unworthy.' These volunteers all share a love for cats and that in itself drives them to help save these cats from certain death from either euthanasia injection, gunshot, falling prey to other animals, or poisoning.

Dr Morgan (goofily -happily) spays a feral cat.

I understand this affection for felines. After all, I have 6 of my own and I love my kitties dearly. They are the thing I most look forward to at the end of my day. Nothing compares to snuggling up with Wren or Jitterbug purring next to me as I drift off to sleep. They are a big part of the reason I think my life feels so blessed.

Ready to start surgery.
Today at JVC there were 3 Veterinarians, 3 JVC technicians, and about 14 volunteers who made this TNR possible. We all donated about 6 hours of our time to provide very low cost spays and neuters to 43 cats.

So, here is where I take a deep breath. We all volunteered to help make those cats lives better. But for the county we live and work in, Harford County Maryland, I will say it is very upsetting that NO ONE else helps out. NO ONE else volunteers their veterinary facility, their time, or their staff.

Is this frustrating? HELL YES!

Do I understand why? HELL YES, and, HELL NO! There were cat owners driving (multiple) cats to the clinic in their brand new Mercedes. Now this was not the majority of the owners, but please? When was the last time anyone of you, or they, were asked to work for free? I understand why vets are so bitter about this. We went to school forever, (most of us had 4 years of college AND THEN 4 years of vet school), at an average cost of $120,000. Since then everyday of our working professional lives someone asks us to do something for free. I mean how is that fair?

Dr Hubbard and Dr Morgan share a surgical assembly line.

So after every TNR I come home feeling proud of myself for still giving a hoot, and frustrated that I donated my time and weakened the impression of value of these surgeries.

So I understand both sides. I guess I just lack conviction to pick one and stand by it.

To those volunteers today at the TNR at JVC you did an amazing job! and I applaud your generosity, compassion and devotion!

Oh, and whoever made the vegan chili it was fantastic and I loved it! Thanks. I ate three whole bowls.

and a link to discuss the subject further

I was just doing some "web-surfing" and found the following discussion about our county, Harford County, Maryland, where the discussion of TNR came up, and the horrific adoption rates of our shelter. 31% of cats leave the shelter, and 71% of dogs. Very sad. Please read the blog and discussion and chime in!

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful group of people, yourself included :)