We`ve watched the recent problems with the TNR program in Cedar Key with a mixture of sadness and frustration. Historically, the Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) program has worked nationally to humanely reduce multiplying homeless cat populations. It worked well in Cedar Key with the tireless support of Doreen and Oliver Bauer until they became overwhelmed by a large collection of neutered cats that they couldn`t place fast enough into good homes. Unfortunately, when you discuss this problem with animal rescue organizations, this is not an unfamiliar situation. Moving neutered cats to new homes is one of the most difficult parts of the TNR program.
Animal rescue organizations have proven that the TNR program stabilizes expanding homeless cat populations without inhumane measures such as poisoning or trapping and killing them. But, all animal rescue organizations agree that after being neutered, transportation of the cats to a final caregiver is one of the most difficult parts of the whole program. But, recently, I`ve found there are several volunteer organizations that help with this dilemma.
We rescued a little silver tabby female that had been living on the streets after her family moved away and left her behind. We started feeding her and eventually, she grew to trust us and followed me home. We scooped her up and took her to All Cats in Gainesville for a check-up. All Cats vaccinated and spayed her. Having never left Cedar Key, the trip to Gainesville was a shock, and she complained most of the way. Fortunately, we found some folks who want to give her a new home, but they live in Binghamton, NY. Like other abandoned and rescued pets, how do we get her from Cedar Key to upstate New York?
We placed a notice on Craigslist in both the Pets and Ride Share sections, and amazingly, replies began to drop into the email inbox. We learned that there`s a group of pet rescuers who use Facebook to arrange what`s known as "legs of transport" and move rescued animals from one place to another. One such group is Freedom Train Animal Rescue Transports http://www.freedomtraintransports.com. Several folks will coordinate to drive a rescued pet a couple of hundred miles and hand the pet to the next person in the chain of transporters. Now, that`s very cool.
Another Craigslist response told me about a group of pet rescuing truckers called Operation Roger http://operationroger.rescuegroups.org. They arrange to transport rescued pets from one truck stop to the next until they get close enough to the final destination to deliver the rescued animal. There`s also a group of private pilots who have organized a volunteer pet rescue transportation service called Flying Paws http://www.flyingpaws.org/index.html and another called Pilots n Paws http://pilotsnpaws.org who will move rescued animals from one airport to the next.
Soon, one way or the other, our little rescued friend is going north to Binghamton, NY. Before we begin searching through these various options, are you heading north on Interstate 81 or 95 sometime after March 20th? If you`re willing to help, little Gray Baby will be housed in her new carrier with a litter box and some water. She`ll be mildly sedated to make the trip less stressful for everyone, but you can assume that for the first hour or so of the trip, she`ll do some crying. Then, like our two cats, we expect that she`ll calm down and endure the journey. Her new caregivers will meet you at any exit that you select along Interstate 81 or 95 in New Jersey, Pennsylvania or New York.
If you`d like to help move this rescued kitty to her new home, please give me a call at 352-543-9307. We`ll toss in a tank full of gas to make your trip north a bit easier on your pocketbook.