By Susan Kumpf | Jan 27, 2013
Photo by: Susan Kumpf Kittens born this spring will begin to reproduce this fall.  TNR prevents it.

Every $1 donated to help stray cats becomes $2 for Haywood Spay/Neuter’s Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) project thanks to a supporter who knows TNR works.  The challenge grant matches the first $5,000 donated, no matter what size the gift.  Donations will pay for spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, emergency cat food for large colonies, and van maintenance.

Haywood Spay/Neuter handled 876 strays or ‘community cats’ in 2012.  Of those, only 3% or 22 strays had been fixed, leaving 854 cats of all ages needing spay/neuter surgery and – for the first time – getting a rabies vaccination, a tangible public health benefit.

Haywood County animal shelter took in 21% fewer cats in 2012 than the prior year – the lowest number in recorded history.  Spay/neuter stops unwanted litters.  Fewer unwanted litters mean fewer cats of all ages flowing into the shelter.

Despite the lower annual intake and a record year in adoptions by both Sarge’s and Feline Urgent Rescue (FUR) of WNC, over half of the cats taken to the shelter were put down because there are too few people adopting shelter pets.  Shelters are usually a death sentence for strays.

“Pet owners must be responsible and fix their pets by four months of age to prevent oops! litters – tomorrow’s strays,” said Susan Kumpf, Haywood Spay/Neuter’s TNR Coordinator.  “People feeding stray cats should be aware that help is at hand – we’ll fix all the cats at once if we can catch them.  Pay what you can afford.  It’s a good investment that lowers your food budget!”  Kittens born this spring will begin to reproduce this fall.

The challenge grant and matching donations help pay the bills and keep the momentum going, Kumpf said.  The organization just completed a PetSmart Charities grant that benefited over 1,200 strays and a Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation grant helped another 35.  A recent grant from the Bernice Barbour Foundation benefits another 47 strays.  “We are grateful for every dollar we receive and are excited that for now, dollars will multiply instead of the cats!” Ms. Kumpf said.

TNR has handled over 2,000 community cats since 2009, preventing thousands of unwanted litters.  A used van purchased last year increased the number of cats transported five days a week for spay/neuter surgery.  The health benefits of spay/neuter and the calm, stable atmosphere of a fixed colony supports TNR as the humane solution to strays.

Call 452-1329 to volunteer or to ask for help with strays.  Haywood Spay/Neuter is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization whose mission is “serving the community by providing low-cost spay/neuter.”

Send tax-deductible donations marked “TNR MATCH” to Haywood Spay/Neuter, P.O. Box 992, Waynesville NC  28786 or donate online at