Home » First of It’s Kind Trap, Neuter, and Return Program Held to Help Tackle Cat Overpopulation

First of It’s Kind Trap, Neuter, and Return Program Held to Help Tackle Cat Overpopulation

by Shanine Sealey

Kristine O’Brien, the owner operator of Paws Republic Centre for Pets in Martensville, along with her team, are always looking for new ways to support our furry friends, whether it be through fostering, fundraisers, bringing awareness, hosting adoptions events and much more. Most recently, Paws Republic Centre for Pets provided space for a unique program that was held in partnership between SOS Prairie Rescue and SCAT Street Cat Rescue.

This program was a Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR), which was a week-long mission to help tackle cat overpopulation within the province. The TNR was a first of its kind and according to Madelaine Fast, the Vice President of SCAT Cat Rescue, the mission involved canvassing problematic areas, informing the community, fundraising, and then trapping cats.

“Once the target cats identified are trapped, they are then brought to the holding facility and await their turn for surgery. The cats are vaccinated for rabies, dewormed, given an overall wellness exam and are spayed/neutered,” Fast explained.

This event was held to help prevent hundreds of kittens being born into precarious circumstances and contributing to the already (what word can I use) cat population. Both rescues struggle year after year, regularly breaking their intake records with no sign of slowing down and space, time and resources can only go so far.

“TNR is the most humane and effective tool in trying to manage the cat overpopulation. SOS Prairie Rescue has been administering this type of program since their inception and work with RM’s, towns, hamlets, etc. all over Saskatchewan. SCAT had done some very small-scale programs in the City of Saskatoon before the no roaming bylaw was introduced,” Fast said.  

Once cats have had enough time to heal, they are returned to their community cat caregivers and any cats that do not bode well outside are put into foster care.

During the week, a total of 102 cats were taken into care, and one litter of kittens was born. Fast noted that this is all possible thanks to the contributions of people calling for help, donating and volunteering their time.

The contribution of a space to use as a holding facility for these animals was a massive addition to the program. With the large number of cats coming and going, Fast stated that a central location that was easily accessible to volunteers was necessary. “We had volunteers coming twice a day for cat care, including cleaning, feeding, administering medication, etc. and vet visits every day for the cats, and of course, Paws was ready, willing, and able to take on fostering any cats that needed some extra TLC.”

“This was a massive undertaking and wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our vet clinics – Affinity, Dr. Omer, Erindale Animal Hospital and City Park, Paws Republic for renting us the space to spread out and give the cats a safe place to recover and the many volunteers who kept the week running, as well as the SOS & SCAT boards for their support,” Fast stated.

Currently, the City of Saskatoon does not allow for this type of program due to their no roaming bylaw, and Fast noted that they have lobbied the City in the past to ask for an exemption to the bylaw and run a pilot TNR project, but have not been successful in their efforts. “We chose to do this mission outside of city limits so that we could gather statistics, respect the bylaws and present our findings to the City of Saskatoon once again.” 

You may also like