Friends of Madison County increases TNR programs
All across western North Carolina, communities are growing and changing rapidly before our eyes. With more people moving to rural areas we are seeing an increase in residents reaching out for help with growing free-roaming cat populations. Friends of Madison County Animals has been committed to TNVR (Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return) in our rural county since 2016. What began as a very small program has expanded exponentially in the past two years due to demand. In addition to providing spay/neuter services, FOMCA has taken on the mission of spreading public awareness about community cat solutions, supporting pet owners in managing their community cat populations, and being out in the community ourselves, trapping and transporting cats to and from spay/neuter.
One of the programs we introduced last year is our “Free-Roaming Feline $5” program - where we pay residents $5 for every feral cat successfully trapped, neutered, and returned to their colony. This incentive encourages Madison County residents to borrow traps from FOMCA, learn to trap with our support, and bring cats in on their own to our clinics!
Tori was our first FRF5 participant when she reached out for help last summer. A feral mama cat started bringing her kittens around her rental home, obviously hungry and searching for food. With our guidance, she trapped the older kittens first and took them into her home to socialize them and care for them until they were ready for spay/neuter. She also took on the task of trapping the other adult cats that hung around - meanwhile falling in love with and keeping two of the kittens she first trapped. Tuna and Beesly are now spoiled rotten and the light of her life.
Female cats can have up to 5 litters a year - and can get pregnant as young as 4 months old! That is why it was no surprise when she suspected yet another litter nestled in the barn next door and asked for assistance with them - knowing how fragile and tiny they were. Tori took on these kittens to foster as well once they were eating on their own and found a home for each one, including mom!
Tori realized pretty quickly what a big endeavor helping feral cats can be, but with the support of FOMCA every step of the way - she has been committed to getting every last cat fixed in her neighborhood. And we couldn’t help them without her! These partnerships with community members are what keep TNVR programs effective and expand their reach in the community.
As winter draws to a close and the weather begins to warm, many unaltered female cats go into heat, and shelters become inundated with litters of kittens between the months of March and October. Now is the time to take action and contact your local TNVR/TNR organization to get assistance before the free-roaming cats you are caring for contributions to this problem!
If you are feeding free-roaming cats - please reach out to a TNR/TNVR organization in your county for assistance in getting them spayed/neutered:
Friends2Ferals - dedicated to improving the lives of community cats and humanely reducing their numbers by utilizing TNR. (828) 505-6737 friends2ferals.org
Sister Kitten - provides TNR as well as support, education and assistance to community cat caregivers. (828)400-0223 sisterkitten.org
Asheville Cat Weirdos - loans out traps so that you can humanely trap community cats in order to get them spayed/neutered. ashevillecatweirdos.org
ASPCA Spay/Neuter Alliance - offering free spay/neuter surgery to community cats trapped in Buncombe County and low-cost options for cats trapped outside of Buncombe County. (855) 434-9285 www.aspca.org/aspca-spay-neuter-alliance
Brother Wolf Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic - exists to serve pet owners who face financial barriers to accessing spay/neuter surgery. (828) 505-3440 x. 111 www.bwar.org/mobile-clinic
Other county-specific resources:
Catawba County - Catawba Humane Society catawbahumane.org (828) 464-8878
Haywood County - Haywood Spay/Neuter haywoodspayneuter.org (828) 452-1329
Henderson County - Blue Ridge Humane Society SNIP Program (828) 698-4481
Jackson, Macon and Swain Counties - ARF/Humane Society for Jackson County www.arf.humane.org (877) 273-5262
Madison County - Friends of Madison County Animals www.fomca.org (828) 649-9798
McDowell County - Paws and Claws Outreach (828) 317-7401
Polk County - Foothills Humane Society (828) 863-4444 www.foothillshumanesociety.org/pet-fix-voucher-program
Rutherford County - Community Pet Center www.communitypetcenter.com
Spartanburg County - Animal Allies www.animalalliesclinic.org (864) 576-6871
Transylvania County - Transylvania Animal Alliance Group (cats only) (828) 966-316
Yancey County - Yancey County Humane Society (828) 682-9510 www.yanceyhumanesociety.org/spay-neuter-program
*Spay/Neuter services are currently backlogged with waiting lists from weeks to months long. Please reach out as early as possible to ensure that you can get an appointment this spring!