HS/N 'awards' 106 community cats with TNR honors

By Connie A. Hewitt | Apr 06, 2015
Photo by: Susan Kumpf Outdoor or community cats gather to eat.  Fixed and vaccinated under TNR improves health and stops the litter/mating cycle.

Another 106 free roaming or community cats have been fixed and vaccinated since Jan. 1 as part of Haywood Spay/Neuter’s trap-neuter-return or “TNR” project. This brings the total to nearly 4,000 cats helped since the project began in 2009.

Their tipped left ear, a badge of honor, identifies TNR cats. An eartip, or “ET,” allows observers to rest assured that the cat provides chemical-free rodent control instead of mating, litters and territorial fighting. ET cats receive rabies and feline distemper (FVRCP) vaccinations at the time of spay/neuter surgery. High-risk cats are tested for feline leukemia, with only an isolated few testing positive.

The TNR results are in addition to over 300 pet cats and dogs fixed since Jan. 1 through Haywood Spay/Neuter's bi-weekly clinic runs to Humane Alliance in Asheville.  The $10 Beat the Heat special is available to all pets of Haywood County residents. Operation Pit is recruiting pit bulls and pit mixes for free surgery, rabies and microchip protection.

Current TNR funding is provided by PetSmart Charities, which has invested over $200,000 in Haywood County’s feral cat program since 2009. PetSmart Charities is an animal welfare organization that saves the lives of homeless pets with a focus on funding spay/neuter programs.  PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, separate from PetSmart, Inc.

The TNR team uses humane traps to capture cats for spay/neuter surgery and vaccinations before returning them to their outdoor home.  "Kitten season" is here, with fixed feral litters available for clean barns. Call the TNR ‘Stray/neuter’ hotline at 400-5981 for more information.

Register a pet from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at 182 Richland St., Waynesville, or by appointment. Call 452-1329 or visit www.haywoodspayneuter.org for more information.