Many of you see our fundraisers for cats who need far more than just spay/neuter. What you may not know is that the incredible person caring for these cats and getting them help (including waiting entire days and nights in emergency vets) is none other than Alicia, who has been working so hard to get colonies left behind by others under control. With our vouchers and financial support, she has made huge strides for the cats in her neighborhood.
We had the privilege of meeting her in person and some of the furry patients recovering in her care. While our conversations are through translators, her love of cats and concern for community shine brightly!
Alicia returning a fixed cat to the trapping location
What motivated you to start caring for cats outside?
Alicia: I started this mission of mine after seeing that adult and small kittens suffer outside, sick kittens and starving and cold. They reproduce so fast that it made me see that something had to be done to avoid their pain and suffering.
How did you get involved in Trap Neuter Return?
Alicia: Because a kitten came to my patio and I started to feed her. I realized there were already more than 15 kittens that were coming to my patio and that's how I started to investigate how I could stop their reproduction. That's how I found out about the TNR program.
What is your favorite kind of trap?
Alicia: My favorite trap is the Tru Catch Trap to trap single cats, but there are times that I need to trap more than one cat so I use the Drop Trap that my friend donated to me.
What is your biggest challenge to getting all of the cats fixed in your area?
Alicia: My biggest challenge is trying to make the people who feed the street kittens understand that there is a TNR program that can help them control their multiplication and thus control the overpopulation of kittens... there needs to be more information available for people who do not know about that program.
How do your neighbors feel about TNR?
Alicia: There are many opinions, some are quite interested in the program, but there is not enough information about TNR. They don’t know how to trap, and also they can’t afford to buy traps.
Why do you think there are so many cats outside?
Alicia: Because there is no economic help and there is no information on how to control the overproduction of kittens. Every town should have a TNR program.
Have you ever tried to get help from your town or animal control?
Alicia: On one occasion I called the city police to come and pick up the bodies of several poisoned cats which were already TNR...it was horrible going to feed them and seeing them all dead.
Note: Alicia is right--for acts of cruelty, the correct move is to call the police, not animal control. You can read more here about distinguishing between the two.
How did you hear about the 50 Feral Fix Program?
Alicia: I found out about the Program through Facebook and friends who sent me the information, I thought it was very good news and that is why I have been able to trap cats and take them for surgery. The TNR system is very good and I am glad that thanks to this program many cats will not have to suffer giving birth to bring more kittens to suffer in this life.
What do you find helpful about the program?
Alicia: I find the TNR program very useful and super necessary, especially in cat overpopulated places, to give people information that the "TNR Program Works" if people find out how it works. And also teach how to trap. There must be some kind of communication between the Municipalities and the TNR Program so that in the future the cat population can be partially controlled or totally controlled, which is my dream for the future.
We share your dream! What would make the [50 Feral Fix] program more helpful?
Alicia: It would make it even more useful if it focused more on advertising on Facebook and also with people who volunteer to go to places where people go like stores to give more information that such a wonderful program exists and works! I know that by making it more public there will be people who like cats, they can help make the TNR in a future National Program.
We would love to spread the word about the program if there are more people out there willing to work like you, Alicia!
Want to help more people become caretakers like Alicia? We need your help to keep this program going. Cats are waiting as we raise funds to provide lifesaving veterinary care through the 50 Feral Fix program.