Do Fort Lauderdale catch, neuter, release programs work for cats?
Catch, neuter, release programs are also usually referred to as Trap, neuter, return or TNR programs. These are programs that are intended to humanly trap unaltered stray Fort Lauderdale cats, spay or neuter them and then release or return them to the same place where they were collected. This program is meant to be an alternative to euthanasia and is meant to reduce the stray cat population in the area. In answer to the question we are supposed to address in this discussion, that is whether the programs work; the programs have been known to work as far as stopping the birth of new cats. The program has, therefore, helped in the reduction of stray cats in the area, since the cats that already exist are allowed to life out their lifespan, without giving birth, or increasing the population.
A colony will usually accept to have only twelve adult cats at any on time, and if they are more than that, new comers will be discouraged through this program. However, like all other programs, some people have also come up against this program. Those that are opposed to it say that these cats act as pest control for people with farms and that reducing their numbers is, therefore, not ideal. They content that the program has a negative impact on wildlife and that it might cause a few health risks to communities, especially if it is not maintained properly.
Typically, the program includes the capture of these Florida cats through the use of humane traps. The cats are then taken to a center where the males are neutered, and the females spayed. In most instances, the program also includes the vaccination of the cats against diseases like rabies, herpes, feline, calicivirus and panleukopenia among others. At the end of the whole process, the cats are marked by a procedure called ear tipping, so as to make identification easier the next time the cat is trapped. This way, cats that have already been through the program do not require to go through it all over again. Once the procedure is complete, the cat will be placed back into the trap, so as to recover from the surgery. It will be cared for and controlled and will be well fed. The cat will later be released or returned to where it was picked from.
The rationale behind this process is to adopt the no kill policy, where Florida cats do not have to be killed to reduce their population. Rather, the birth of new Fort Lauderdale cats is prevented, and the ones that are already living are left to do so. Many of the studies that have been carried out have found that this procedure works. These studies have indicated that the procedure works to reduce the population of cats in colonies, thus, ensuring that there is enough food and shelter for the few cats that are left.
Overall, the TNR procedure intends to reduce the stray or feral cat population, and it has been found to be effective in doing so.
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