TNR approach towards Feral Cats

In the month of November, Athlone Animal Welfare is raising awareness about often-neglected feral cats and the effective approach that can be taken towards them. According to stats published by Feral Cats Ireland during their feral cat awareness week in August, there are more than 200,000 stray cats in Ireland. More they breed, more difficult it becomes to feed or rehome them.

In order to have a better understanding of what needs to be done, it’s important to educate ourselves with authentic information. Feral cats are born to stray or abandoned cats. Since they’re born outside a proper home, they are not prone to much human interaction and therefore rehoming them is a challenge majority people don’t take on.

Even if feral cats are difficult to rehome, it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve our care and help. There are various proposed solutions to handle a feral cat, such as trap/tame, trap-kill and trap/rehome but all of them are not practical as feral cat is not easily tamed due to it’s wary nature and it may take months for it to get accustomed to a new home. It is especially difficult to confine it in one place for atleast four weeks. Killing feral cats is not only cruel and inhumane; it is highly impractical as well. Feral cats seeing this threat will be forced to flee out of fear and confine themselves in a colony and their breeding can speed up. Therefore it is rightly concluded that prevention is better. AAW being a pro-rescue and pro-life organization supports trap/neuter/return approach, which is practical and convenient. Upon encountering a feral cat, AAW suggest to trap it in a box and take it to the local vet for neutering and a general health check up. Usually the vets remove tip of their ear to mark them as neutered, but you can ask the vet to do so. After getting them neutered, you can take them back to the same location and release them where they can continue to roam freely and being fed by caring people around.

Athlone Animal Welfare also provides educational talks on animal welfare topics so incase you need to find out more about TNR approach, a talk on this topic can be arranged. This month, AAW in association with Athlone Tidy Towns will be visiting St Aloysius college to collect feral cat boxes made by their generous students. AAW can also provide trap cages if you are deciding to act on TNR approach for feral cats. In case you are thinking about getting a feral cat neutered, Glasson vets, Daniel Murray vets (Moate) and Midland vets (McGuires) are offering two feral cat spays/neuter for a flat fee of €20 each to the public. You can contact us on our email, website or facebook for more details.

Athlone Animal Welfare would like to remind every pet owner and animal carer, to get them neutered and spayed if you haven’t yet. Not only this will give them a better future, it can actually save their lives.

 

Carry An Animal Assistance Card

Your pet depends on you for constant care and protection. The thought of leaving them alone if you become ill, get in any kind of trouble or unable to tend to them for any unforeseeable reason is not only distressing for you, but it can put the entire future of your pet in jeopardy. It is wise to have a steady arrangement should any inevitable emergency comes in your way.

Athlone Animal Welfare has come up with a solution to prepare for this upsetting scenario. We are developing an Animal Assistance card that you can keep in your wallet, purse or somewhere visible in the house such as on the fridge door.  They will be available for free at your local vet’s clinic and pet shops in Athlone.

This wallet size card will contain your basic details, your pet’s name and type and details of two persons you nominate to take care of your pet. The purpose of this card is pretty basic; in the case you get in any kind of critical situation, keeping this card in your wallet at all times will make it easier for anyone who finds it to contact your trusted nominees and ensure your pet is in safe hands and being taken care of until you’re unable to.

We also suggest every dog owner register for Canine Care Cards at Dogs Trust. In case of any life threatening circumstances, these cards will prove to be a great assistance in ensuring safety of your dog and your peace of mind.

Athlone Spay Week 2016

Athlone Spay Week 2016 from the 21st – 30th April is running in conjunction with AAW and local veterinary clinics.  Please contact AAW via email or phone only to avail of a discounted neuter/spay procedure from the following vets. We have a voucher system in place and you will need to have one before contacting the vet.

spaywseeejeek2016

 

Athlone Animal Welfare is a local animal welfare group who are particularly concerned about the increasing number of feral cats, and the number of dogs being euthanized in Irish pounds every year. AAW believe prevention is better than cure.

As part of Spay Week Ireland 2016, and in an effort to encourage pet owners to neuter and spay their cats and dogs AAW dispel some of the myths, and highlight some of the benefits, of neutering your pet.

Neutering is a humane way to reduce the stray dog and cat populations. It helps prevent thousands of unwanted puppies being born each year that may be cruelly abandoned or needlessly destroyed. According to the ISPCA, a couple of unneutered cats and all their offspring can produce almost 12 million cats in 9 years; and one un-spayed dog and all her offspring can produce more than 4 million dogs in 7 years!!! Statistics confirm that thousands of dogs are euthanized in Irish pounds every year. Although there are no official figures available for numbers of stray or destroyed cats in Ireland, it is thought that the country’s feline destruction rate could be even higher than the canine equivalent. Having your pet neutered ensures that you are not contributing to this unnecessary and tragic waste of lives.

Neutering is a simple operation performed by a vet that prevents male and female dogs from reproducing by removing their sexual organs. For male dogs this is called ‘castration’, and for female dogs the procedure is called ‘spaying’. Both are routine procedures carried out under a general anaesthetic.

Benefits:

  • Through neutering, you can help your pet’s live happier, healthier and longer lives. Early neutering can help prevent uterine infections (pyometra) as well as mammary, uterine, ovarian and testicular cancer.
  • Neutering may help reduce aggressive and unwanted sexual behaviour, preventing fighting, mounting and being destructive. Dogs and cats that have been neutered are also less likely to mark their territory or stray and therefore less likely to be lost, stolen or hit by a car.
  • Neutering prevents the unnecessary costs of unplanned pregnancies and raising puppies. Plus, by preventing accidents caused by unruly behaviour, costly vets’ bills can be avoided.
  • Neutering encourages calmer, more predictable behaviour

Contrary to some beliefs:

  • The costs of having a litter are often more than the cost of neutering, as there could be complications requiring hospitalisation or surgery. Additionally, homes will have to be found for unwanted offspring or they may end up in animal shelters. So the cost of the pet as well as future generations should be considered.
  • Neutering does not directly lead to obesity. Pets can become overweight and less active as a result of overeating and lack of exercise rather than as a direct result of neutering.
  • It is wrong to allow domesticated animals to produce thousands of unwanted offspring that are eventually killed because there are not enough responsible homes. Domesticated animals share the human environment and their well-being is dependent on our care.
  • Female pets do no need to have at least 1 litter before being spayed. In fact, there are health benefits for your pet if they are neutered earlier rather than later.
  • Personality changes that may result from neutering are typically positive. Preventing the instinctual need to find a mate helps your pet stop roaming and becoming calmer; though not less protective of their territory.

Early neutering by six months of age is recommended since this guarantees that the animals will not be able to breed and over-populate a community.

To further encourage pet owners to neuter their cats and dogs, some local veterinary clinics have kindly offered a discount to a limited number of participants on neutering procedures from …

Anti Puppy Farming Campaign

If you are considering getting a puppy please consider the following information and choose wisely:

Be wary of “puppy farms”- A puppy farm is a large-scale commercial dog breeding facility that is considered to operate under sub-standard conditions. The puppies are commercially bred for profit. Dogs are often kept in small areas and do not lead a normal life. There is little or no interaction with other dogs or people. Female dogs are often forced to have several litters of puppies and this can lead to health problems and cause stress and anxiety.

Go to an animal shelter or pound first- Thousands of unwanted dogs and puppies are put down each year in Ireland. Giving one a home would be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

If you are going to buy a puppy from a breeder:

  • Check with your vet for a list of creditable breeders
  • If you are looking at a puppy that is not in your area ring the local vet there and ask for information about the breeder
  • Make sure you meet the breeder at their home. Any breeder that does not want you to see the
  • dogs living conditions could be operating a puppy farm
  • Insist that you see the puppy with its mother in their living area
  • Insist the puppy has had their vaccinations and been checked by a vet. (don’t accept pups vaccinated by breeder)
  • Always buy the breed of pup who suits your situation and way of life, small dog for a small garden; large dog for a more active lifestyle; older children; more space etc.
  • Preferable bring a canine knowledgeable person with you.
  • Make sure the puppy is old enough to be taken from their mother
  • Check that the puppy looks healthy and is of a healthy weight
  • Check that the puppy’s mother looks healthy

If you are suspicious or concerned walk away!!!! Buying a dog from a puppy farm will only increase the profitability of this trade. Call the I.S.P.C.A. on 1890515515 or your local animal welfare organisation.

AAW Christmas Campaign

Firstly make sure you meet the breeder at their home. Any breeder that does not want you to see the dogs living conditions could be operating a puppy farm.

  • Insist that you see the puppy with its mother in their living area
  • Insist the puppy has had their vaccinations and been checked by a vet. (don’t accept pups vaccinated by breeder)
  • Always buy the breed of pup who suits your situation and way of life, small dog for a small garden; large dog for a more active lifestyle; older children; more space etc.
  • Preferable bring a canine knowledgeable person with you.
  • Make sure the puppy is old enough to be taken from their mother
  • Check that the puppy looks healthy and is of a healthy weight
  • Check that the puppy’s mother looks healthy

If you are suspicious or concerned walk away!!!! Buying a dog from a puppy farm will only increase the profitability of this trade. Call the I.S.P.C.A. on 1890515515 or your local animal welfare organisation.