WHEN WE CAN’T HELP: A property owner called, asking if we would trap and have destroyed several feral cats that were killing their birds and destroying the feeders. As you know, we are an Animal Welfare Group that supports Trap, Neuter and Release programs. Unfortunately the property owner was not interested in that option. It is even more unfortunate that we were unable to help them.
When you find feral companion animals surrounding your property, it means that the conditions are better there for their survival than any other option. Maybe you have uncovered trash. Maybe you have bird feeders that provide feral cats with an instant access to birds. Maybe you have outbuildings and cover that provides shelter. Maybe you have other animals that the feral animals can smell, or you feed your animals outside, so feral animals have a chance of getting a bit of what is available.
In any of these cases, nature abhors a vacuum, so even if you remove the feral animals that you find, unless you also change what drew them to your property, more will follow.
Our stated mission is to help keep all companion animals in the area safe, not to euthanize them. A responsible Trap, Neuter and Return program could have helped make sure that the kitties this person wanted to put down would have been much less interested in the bird feeders, since they wouldn’t have been hungry. But under such a program, feral cats are trapped, fixed and returned to where they came from. And without such a program, even if the original cats were removed, others would likely move in, looking for a birdie meal too.
We are happy to help you set up a TNR program by offering food, housing and the spaying or neutering. Otherwise we have no assistance to offer.
One of Four Legs & Fur’s board members, Berta Bryner (in blue on the right), got a great surprise when she visited the class. And we just want to say how wonderful we think the class members of Diane Venancio’s T.O.P.S. class at Hermitage High are! Not only did they work to donate money to Four Legs and Fur, but as you can see they also contributed food, toys, bowls and much more, All of these are being put to good use with new adoptive pets, and to help those who could not afford to feed their own animals.
It’s great, selfless and generous contributions from kids like these that give us much hope for the future. Big puppy snuggles to each of them — the furry friends are truly grateful!
PLEASE PLAN AHEAD: I know none of us wants to think about death, disability or an extended stay in the hospital, but if we love our companion animals, we simply have to do so. Four Legs and Fur has recently been called upon to help people who were going into intensive care for an extended time period figure out what to do with their pets. We also know of a situation where a person passed away with young animals in their care and no one to take them.
From your pet’s perspective, it’s bad enough to lose you, the person they love. Just imagine when they’re left out in the cold to fend for themselves? That happens more than you know.
Please have that talk with your family members, friends, neighbors or whomever. Think through what would happen if you could no longer care for your animals, or if a disability causes you to be unable to walk them as you once did. If you want to discuss options or how to make plans, we’re happy to do so. We even know of a reliable dog walker who is available to help with that chore.
On a similar front: I know that we want to make sure our animals are mainly bonded with us and will protect us and the home when needed. But please remember that they also must be socialized enough that someone else can keep them from chasing animals, pick them up, get a leash on them or get them in a carrier.
Otherwise, it becomes a traumatic experience for your pets when it happens that someone (often a stranger), needs to step in to help you take care of them, get them into boarding facilities or send them to foster care while you recuperate and/or if you can’t come back. I even know of several animals who were lost simply because no one could catch them after an owner died. And that can’t possibly be what you would want for the pets you love.