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BTAA holds clinic for feral cats

by ANNISA KEITH
Staff Writer | March 19, 2022 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — Local cats that don’t have homes will have a chance to get necessary veterinary care that can benefit their quality of life.

The Better Together Animal Alliance is offering its well-known Trap Neuter Return program on March 31.

“TNR is a method of managing community cat colonies humanely and effectively,” Andrea Nagel, director of storytelling and partnerships at BTAA, said. “Community cats are trapped in humane live traps, using food as bait. They are then spayed or neutered to prevent unwanted litters and eliminate the excess of cats entering shelters.”

After the procedure, the tip of the cat’s left ear is removed to indicate that the feral feline has had the sterilization surgery. The cat is then released.

In addition to the procedure, cats will be given their rabies and FVRCP vaccines if they are of age.

BTAA asks those interested to schedule an appointment ahead of time, as they expect to fill all 30 appointment slots. The procedure costs $20 per cat, with a three-cat maximum per person.

A non-profit organization, BTAA does not receive taxpayer funding and helps approximately 2,400 stray or surrendered animals every year.

TNR is not without some accompanying controversy, with detractors asserting that the practice is not effective. In a scholarly article by Heather M. Crawford, Michael C. Calver, and Patricia A. Fleming, the trio contend TNR fails to improve feline quality of life, and does not reduce the overall number of feral cats.

The Australian Veterinary Association has banned the practice of TNR on the grounds that it is an inappropriate management practice for feral cats.

However, proponents of TNR maintain that well-managed projects see long-term success.

The ASPCA endorses the practice of TNR asserting that it’s “the only proven humane and effective method to manage feral cat colonies.”

To learn more about BTAA and the TNR program, visit their website at BetterTogetherAnimalAlliance.org.