News Alert
SEASIDE HEIGHTS LIVE: Video Shows How The Beach…

Program Will Help Control Brick's Cat Population

'Trap, neuter, release' program a safe way to control feral cats, officials say

Instituting a "trap, neuter, release," or TNR, program in Brick will humanely control the township's population of feral cats, officials say.

The program, which runs on a volunteer basis, involves trapping stray cats, sending them to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, then releasing them.

"We have an overpopulation of cats in town, and probably all across the United States," said Councilman Michael Thulen, who has been working with volunteers in town to help get the project off the ground.

Thulen said he's been working with "colony caretakers," volunteers in town who are responsible for getting the TNR program started in their neighborhoods. The colony caretakers must take classes to learn about the program and how it is administered. After cats are spayed or neutered, the colony caretakers look after the cat until it is released.

According to the Feral Cat Caretakers' Coalition, TNR programs are usually more successful than trapping and killing feral cats since TNR is an ongoing effort that prevents future births, rather than a short-term population control effort where many cats are left to breed.

Brick officials are in the process of establishing a pool of veterinarians who will perform the surgeries. The veterinarian fees will be paid through the township, and fundraising efforts are underway to raise money to defray the cost.

"As the cats are collected in groups, 10 or 15 at a time, we would go to this veterinary pool," Thulen said. "They would be paid by the donations and then invoiced through the township. Hopefully, because it is the township writing the check, the vets will give us a good price."

"We’re going to try to avoid using any taxpayer money," Thulen added.

Those who have already started the program say they can already see results.

"We have been seeing tremendous results in birth reductions in our colonies," said Adrianne Sarno, a colony caretaker who lives in the Kentwood Village development. "It’s a positive for not only the animals, but for all of us in our communities."

Thulen said those interested in participating in the program should contact the Brick Township Recreation Department at 732-262-1076.

"The intention is, hopefully, by the end of this year to actually start trapping, neutering and releasing cats around town," Thulen said.

Ann Haber September 04, 2011 at 07:01 PM
If you can't stand the thought of euthanasia, I personally know folks who help out feral cats by trapping, altering and removing them to enclosures in their own back yards. Yes, it may be a little more stressful at first, but cats are resilient creatures and can adapt! It is also safer for everyone involved.
Ann Haber September 04, 2011 at 07:44 PM
The "vacuum effect" is a myth as described by proponents of TNR. Yes, if you remove animals from a favorable location, neighbors can move in. But why is removing them slowly any different? Why not make that location unfavorable to begin with(like properly storing trash) and simply remove the cats - if there is no food, why would other cats move back in? And what about these "other" cats? How does managing some cats control their numbers? Please note, rarely are wild animals managed this way - because it is expensive, inefficient and not really a long term solution. For example, if you don't want lots of rats and raccoons hanging around your house - you keep your home and yard clean and garbage sealed up (works well for bears too). If you want fewer deer hanging around your yard, you don't put out extra food for them. Also, rarely if ever is TNR done on a scale large enough to solve the problem. In fact, many folks who practice TNR use words like "stabilize" rather than "reduce" or "eliminate" the population- and they tend to measure success on an individual colony level. Like trap and remove, if you don't catch and fix every cat, the problem can persist. And, as long as the original source of feral cats exists (abandoned or unaltered free-roaming pets) the problem cannot be solved. TNR doesn't sound like a "long term solution to me. It is more like a very expensive and time-consuming way to have more pet cats on public or other people's private property.
Lisa Begin-Kruysman September 04, 2011 at 11:27 PM
Ann...you are right on track with your views on spay and neuter. I called our Banfield Office to see if they would like to participate in the upcoming Dog Fest Event in Brick to help promote low cost S & N options. I spoke to Myrna who referred me to Elga. They seemed to be all ears until I proposed that they join our community for this endeavor. Granted S and N is a surgical procedure not to be taken lightly, but I was very disappointed in their follow up...ah...which would be NONE!! I called and left my home phone no., my cell...and my e mail not once bu twice, but still no response. So you see, it takes a very caring and genuine Veterinarian Group to make a difference....I will keep on looking. Until then, I can't recommend our Banfield Practice as a caring one on this front.
Lisa Begin-Kruysman September 04, 2011 at 11:29 PM
Please feel free to contact me if you would like to know more about low cost S/N
Mark Story Jenks January 31, 2013 at 06:43 PM
Readers,please take time for this: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/science/that-cuddly-kitty-of-yours-is-a-killer.html


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »