Edmonton Humane Society takes steps to address feral cat colonies – Edmonton

The Edmonton Humane Society hosted their first major Trap Neuter Return (TNR) event this week. It has partnered with the Canadian Animal Task Force to capture dozens of wild cats on a rural estate outside Edmonton.

Liza Sunley, CEO of the Edmonton Humane Society, said they have partnered with the task force for advice and intend to use what they have learned to hold TNR clinics in the future.

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94 cats were caught that weekend, with 36 kittens young enough to be socialized and will remain in the care of humane society until they are old enough to find new homes. 58 adults are neutered or neutered and return to their colony.

“It’s a huge effort,” said Sunley.

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“They grew up outdoors, so if they lived with a family their well-being would be at risk – it would be very stressful for them.”

Wild cats have little to no contact with people and are not socialized with people. Humane Society Veterinarian Disa Boyd said cat welfare is paramount.

“(We) treat you as calmly as possible, minimizing any interaction … This clinic is here to help you get out as quickly as possible,” Boyd said.

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Boyd was pleased to see that this colony is very healthy and the cats are in good condition. The animals are monitored overnight to make sure there is no infection and they are brought home the next day.

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In addition to neutering or neutering, the cats are vaccinated, treated against parasites and tattooed.

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Although this is the first major clinic in humane society, the Canadian Animal Task Force has helped more than 17,000 feral cats in the past 10 years.

“All over Canada we see that there is a cat problem. There are so many cat shelters that they are usually busy, they become a nuisance to neighboring properties, and then of course there are the health problems, “said RJ Bailot, executive director of the Canadian Animal Task Force.

Bailot said clinics can cost anywhere from $ 5,000 to $ 20,000.

“Community cat management can only be successful with the strong support of the communities we serve, and we are grateful that the Edmonton Humane Society recognizes this and is ready to reinforce it.”

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Edmonton was last reported to have 65,000 feral cats in the city, with females being able to have three litters a year and growing even more. Bailot said they are receiving inquiries from across the province and the task force is currently holding TNR events every two weeks.

He hopes the momentum will grow and more cat colonies will be addressed.

“I feel like we definitely have an impact and at some point we will reach a stage where we no longer need to do these high volume clinics,” said Bailot.

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For this colony, the cats have a designated carer who is in contact with the task force to support their health. Communities experiencing wildcat overpopulation can contact the task force for assistance.

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