By: Jennifer Jones, Lifeline Administrative Director
Since March of this year, I have spoken to countless residents of Bolivar who expressed frustrations surrounding the overpopulation of Community Cats and lack of resources in their community. Hundreds of feral and stray cats reproducing and those who wanted to help end the cycle were faced with road blocks. The vets on Galveston Island were either not affordable or were overbooked. Since Lifeline of Galveston County came into the picture, we have been more than willing to help Bolivar Peninsula. However, crossing with the ferry can make helping residents of Bolivar difficult- especially during the busy summer months. I once had a resident tell me that she had to wake at 3am to get her cat to the clinic by 7:30am. Residents would need to come over to borrow traps, and then to go to their appointment on another day. Cats are ready the same day as drop off, so Bolivar residents would have to stay in town all day or decide if it was worth it to travel all the way home and come back. These hurdles became too much for so many residents and the more I spoke to people, the more I heard the frustration and the less people called in for assistance. I knew we had a huge problem and we are finally in the position to help!
This is where we need YOUR help! We have been able to secure a mobile spay & neuter van to set-up in Bolivar on December 6. They will be prepared to spay/neuter & vaccinate 60 community cats from Port Bolivar. This is our largest spay & neuter project to date and we are so excited to share this with the Bolivar community who are desperate for a solution to community cats constantly getting pregnant and adding to the pet overpopulation on the Peninsula! But we need your help! We need to raise approximately $6,700 to cover the cost of this project.
This is the price breakdown:
If you didn't know, between 30-100 million cats live outside without an owner in the US. These "community cats" are cared for by neighbors or 'caretakers' who feed them out of the kindness of their hearts. However, left un-fixed, the cats reproduce at insane levels (one female cat can have four litters of kittens in one year!) For this reason, caretakers often find themselves going from feeding 1 or 2 cats to 10+ in the first year alone.
It would cost them thousands of dollars to fix the cats they were just trying to help by feeding, and that is usually not possible. Also as more cats are born, they start having to pay more money for more food... you can see how this can turn into a terribly overwhelming situation. It's no unique! Lifeline has processed assistance requests from close to 300 Galveston County residents just this year who are in need of assistance with community cats... and we know this is just a fraction of residents who need help!
If these cats are brought to the animal shelter, they are often euthanized because they are feral and not traditional "house cats" that can be easily adopted. This doesn't seem like a fair option, especially when many have caretakers and people who love and look out for them!
TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) is the proven most effective method for managing community cats. In fact its more effective in decreasing outdoor cat populations than the traditional trap and kill method. You can learn more about TNR here: www.lifelinetx.org/i-need-help-with-communityoutdoor-cats.
Bolivar residents - We see you, we hear you, we want to help you! Let's make this possible!