Multiple Cat Colonies Reported In Henderson, Texas
Multiple Henderson residents have contacted me about stray cats and cat colonies near them. Each one has a common theme to their story, “I called the Henderson Animal Center and they are full.”
Unfortunately, Henderson has a stray and feral cat population that is larger than the Henderson Animal Center has resources to manage.
So if an additional solution is to be found for helping save Texas cat lives,
“IF IT IS TO BE , IT IS UP TO WE.”
Every donor to this fundraiser and every person who has sponsored a spay or neuter for another person is already part of a solution.
The Volunteer Group Rusk County Pets Alive (RCPA) works tirelessly with the Henderson Animal Center to save Shelter Animal lives and find homes for Shelter Animals. Their efforts have made Rusk County a model for saving Shelter Animal lives. https://txcat.org/making-rusk-county-texas-a-model-for-saving-lives/
Even with the RCPA's herculean efforts of support for the Henderson Animal Center, the number of strays in Henderson still exceeds the Henderson Animal Center's capacity to take in all that are reported and this is when people reporting strays or seeking to turn in an animal encounter the message, “We are full.”
Statewide, animal Rescues which intervene and prevent animals from ending up in municipal shelters and those Rescues which pull animals from high-kill shelters are also operating at max capacity and must unfortunately hang out their “We are full.” signs way too often.
When the city shelters and other groups are operating at capacity and unable to help any more animals, then the only hope for the animals on the streets that still need help are INDIVIDUAL CITIZENS WHO CARE.
The reality of the animal overpopulation problem in Texas is that a MINORITY OF PEOPLE are the MAJORITY OF THE PROBLEM and they are principal contributors to the over population of cats and dogs. These people fail to spay and neuter their pets or they allow pets outside that have not been spayed or neutered while others irresponsibly dump their pets. The latter are criminals.
How To Get Rid Of A Pet Without Becoming a Felon
Statewide this minority of people cause the majority of situations that other animal loving organizations and citizens seek to address in order to save animal lives.
When the number of reported strays exceeds Henderson Animal Center's intake capacity, then Individual citizens and their supporters have the opportunity to step up and help save the lives of Community cats (and dogs).
THAT IS WHAT EACH DONOR TO THIS EFFORT HAS DONE
In cases where strays or colonies are reported but the Henderson Animal Center is full, then the person who has encountered the stray or cat colony has to make a difficult choice between five (5) common decisions:
1) Ignore the stray or the entire colony and whatever happens happens. Just turn a blind eye to one or more cats that need help.
Unless the cat or cats are spayed and neutered, then the number of them WILL INCREASE.
The greater the quantity of cats competing for food in an area (colony situation), the further the cats roam, the more roadways they cross and the more of them that die. The SPCA says that about 50% of stray and feral cats are likely to be killed.
One person who contacted me said the colony near them fluctuated in size from about 15 to 25 and they figured that was because hawks or coyotes were killing them.
2) intervene and feed a hungry cat and/or its kittens then socialize them and give them a home or find them a home.
When a single stray cat or a mother cat and kittens are encountered sometimes they can be friended, captured and homed. This is an optimal solution.
However, this needs to be done quickly as cats can have another litter of kittens in about 60 days, so work quickly to get the mother cat tamed and spayed. Be prepared to find owners for the kittens before they are 5-6 months old and request the new owners to be responsible and get them spayed or neutered, otherwise be prepared to do it before adopting them out.
Even well intentioned feeding of one or more stray cats without spaying and neutering them can quickly create a colony of cats and compound cat over population and contribute to more Texas cat deaths.
3) intervene and feed a hungry cat colony
Feeding a cat colony is EXPENSIVE for just one person to undertake and takes time and commitment. Feeding a cat colony without a plan to spay and neuter all the inhabitants can have unexpected negative consequences for the cats. The Humane Society says:
“If you feed, do not let them breed.”
— Humane Society
4) intervene and feed a hungry colony AND arrange to TNR (trap, spay and neuter) them all.
After spay and neuter, returning colony cats to their location is one option if their location is not problematic and they are not troublesome for others or exposed to excessive dangers like high traffic or people in the vicinity like Trapper John.
Relocating a colony is another more time consuming and costly undertaking, but can be necessary to save their lives in certain circumstances.
Most people simply cannot do it all alone.
There are a number of groups that specialize in TNR (Trap Neuter Return) and they may be able to help when a colony is reported to them, but unfortunately, none in Henderson, Texas or Rusk County.
5) kill them all like Trapper John
In some cases to help save Texas cat lives,
“IF IT IS TO BE , IT IS UP TO WE.”
Every donor to this fundraiser and every person who has sponsored a spay or neuter for another person is already part of that grass roots solution.
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