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no local shelters will help with feral cat situation

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I live in a condo complex and I was told by the maintenance guy that there are quite a few cats living around building one - with now 2 litters (one was hit by a car 2 weeks ago). He said he called the local shelter but was told if he brings in cats - others will be put down to make room.

I know the best thing to do is TNR - but I certainly cant do it. I have sent emails/called 4 local non-kill shelters and not one has responded which is very upsetting. Does anyone know of other options - a national number I can call for info on who will help these cats and their kittens. I know if I wait too long there will only be more cats to worry about.

post #2 of 13
there's not a national number that i know of, but there are local ones... but we'd need to know where you are!
post #3 of 13
I'm so glad you found your way to TCS.

Contacting shelters and rescue groups requires some patience. Most are over-worked and under-staffed. Many are not as organized as they want to be.

We practice TNR and just took a female and 2 males to be spayed and neutered. Turned out the little female was pregnant - so pregnant she went into labor at the vet, and now has four little kittens. We can't foster her. I sent out 22 e-mails on Friday. I've had 3 responses. And in my intro I got to include how much work we've done for ferals over the years.

Here's my suggestion - if you're in the U.S.

Go to Chose ONLY cats, no other screens (for male or female, etc.), and type in your zipcode. Because each shelter will have multiple listings - many 2 - 4 pages, you have to keep hitting "next page." But for each new rescue group that comes up, click on the link to the webpage or website. If they sound at all like they may work with ferals, send them an e-mail. If appropriate, include in your e-mail that it wasn't clear if they can help with TNR, but you're writing in the hopes that they may know of a group or individual that may be willing to help. IF you can afford it (and if you're willing to), let them know that you're willing to help offset the costs of having the cats spayed and neutered.

Other links where you can search for other/more shelters/rescues:

Here, click that you're looking for individual assistance:

I would also e-mail the Best Friends' No More Homeless Pets Campaign at and describe the situation as you have here.

I don't know where you live, but if it's not a huge city, another thing to try is getting out your yellow pages and calling around to local vets. We've helped arrange a number of long distance rescues this way. We call a vet office, explain that we've contacted local shelters and rescues but haven't found help, that there are X number of stray/feral cats with X number of kittens, and you're not in a position to take them in, but you're looking for someone who may be able to help. Are they aware of any TNR groups or individuals practicing TNR in the area? You know - you're looking for the "crazy cat person" so to speak. You're happy to leave your phone number if there's anyone they can think of that may be able to help.

Sometimes you'll get the cold shoulder. But you may hit the one place that says "Yes, we know someone who might help."

Thank you for wanting to help these kitties!

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well - this morning i found the tiniest kitten by the dumpster - called animal control because i knew a kitten could be adopted. I was told the officer was off today. He would call me tomorrow morning! In my county (I live in NJ) I guess animals in need have to be so between 8 and 5 mon thru fri. I am outraged by that!!

I did call the local shelter and they said they would take the kitten (however since then my bf found another one!!) Of course we have to wait till tomorrow now - Im so worried for them - im at work. But i did put a sign up so my neighbors are careful - especially since the dumpster is near the parking lot.

I did speak with a woman i emailed last week and she told me they do have the TNR program - what I didnt know is I would have to do it myself. I guess thats what everyone here is doing - correct??? I thought these groups came out themselves. Im going to definitely look into - maybe get the maintenance man to help too. He sounded like he cared about them.

I always wanted to get more involved with animals (besides donations) i guess this is it!!!

Thanks again for your help - Ill probably be asking more questions very soon.

post #5 of 13
Some TNR groups will help - it's just a question of finding them, and it can take some work. We couldn't find anyone to help us, so we did it ourselves. Initially I got advice from people here, and we borrowed a trap from the local vet.

As you can see, I joined the site in 2002. Since then, I honestly don't know how many cats we've rescued. We trapped and paid ourselves to have 20+ cats spayed and neutered from this place alone. We fostered a number of kittens, and developed a foster network amont the vet staff. We got to know all the local vets.

But neither hubby nor I ever had a cat as a pet, and now we have 6. The last 4 were all kittens that couldn't really be adopted out because they were too sick or had behavior problems.

Once you get involved - it's hard not to keep going.

It can be SO rewarding, sometimes SO frustrating - but that's what's so great about having these forums. There's people to answer questions, provide support and encouragement, and to cheer you along for successes, too.

Where in NJ do you live? Hubby's very ill these days and we haven't been doing much trapping except right around us. But we're in NW NJ, in Warren County.

We were just looking for foster homes for a mom that just had kittens (we were taking her to the vet to get spayed. We were pretty sure she was pregnant, but having rescued for so long, if she wasn't too far along we were going to have her spayed anyway). ....but she was too far along. The morning after we got her to the vet, she had kittens.

But I've had 3 responses now from people willing to foster her (I e-mailed 22 rescue orgs). Depending upon where you are, I'm willing to bet they'd be willing to pick up and foster the momma and those kitties.

I haven't turned down any of the offers yet - I want to make sure the fist person that contacted me about it is going to do it. So your timing her is perfect.

Unless you decide you want us to talk you through rescuing them, bringing them inside, and fostering them, and how best to work to get them adopted out. (It's actually pretty easy at first, especially if you work for a mid-sized firm. Almost everyone who likes cats where we used to work now has one of "our" cats! )

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Im still making phone calls and seeing what I can do. I did finally talk to the animal control officer who is a really cool guy. He does not want to see any of these cats killed - in fact I found out that they were all around the first condo and have moved over to the next street because the woman who was feeding them moved. So people on that st. have been calling him to remove the cats - and he hasnt because he knows they will be put down.

With the cats over at the other st. though - it does cause me a problem with trapping them - I guess i could go over there secretly - but its not my property. I also havent spoken with the maintenance guy yet and am HOPING the condo association doesnt get in my way with this -if so again hopefully we can do it secretly. I know my neighbor downstairs is willing to help - but with it being august we are all working full time. I live near Stone Harbor - way south - which is also known for having a lot of ferals - Cape May too.

As far as fostering them - i would definitely love to - but my place is small - i have a big dog and a cat that isnt friendly towards other cats. If someone wanted to foster them - I dont know how they would go about doing so... I would still have to keep them until they came to get them... Its a mess - I just hope I can really make a difference and this doesnt end up being depressing.

THANKS for yoo again and God bless you for what youve done for cats.
post #7 of 13
this website has a form you can fill out to find a low-cost spay/neuter clinic in your area. many of them are also 'feral-friendly' altho that probably isn't a problem w/kittens.
post #8 of 13
I don't know where you are located but I live in Tampa, FL and our Humane Society has a spay and neuter clinic. They will perform the spay/neuter for $40 for any cat. They do provide a discount for those that are feral. I took my little feral family to them for their shots, spay/neuter and rabies vaccine and it only cost me $35 per cat.

They also have traps that you can rent from them so that you can bring them in. Perhaps you can contact your Humane Society to see if they have the same service.
post #9 of 13
If ferals/strays are a 'problem' at your association, this may be an opportunity for you and other owners who are TNR friendly to approach your board to help financially sponsor a TNR program, perhaps in conjunction with either a local shelter or animal control.

I'm on my board, and I know we try to be responsive to owners who actually show up at meetings with concerns, especially if they have a well-thought-out plan to resolve the concerns, especially if the money involved is relatively small. And, even assuming your board isn't pet-friendly, just the concept of decreasing the stray population through TNR in your immediate association area may appeal to the Board and other owners as a means to increase property value to potential buyers and current owners, without the association gaining a reputation as being 'mean' to animals. Heck, you could spin it as being ecologically conscious well.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Luckily everything seems to be working out so far. The maintenance man AND the animal control guy are totally behind me. Im not even going to bring it up with teh board - they are only summer people any way and only care about the look of the place - so I guarantee they dont want to hear or of course SEE feral cats around. I dont care - Im doing this anyway. Im actually going to try to get them to come over toward my building cause Im farther from the street.

I do have to mention this - this morning I found a cat's claw by the side of the road - part of the leg too. At first I thought it was maybe from the kitten i found dead in the road a few weeks ago - but then i was thinking how my adult cats claw is about that big. This was horrific!!! Do you think i need to call the cops?? I dont know what that means - if a wild animal attacked the cat - but where is the rest of it??
post #11 of 13
best of luck to you with this, seems like those posting above have great info in regards to your subject.

as for the leftovers in the's a bit pointless to call the police...if they see it, they'll handle, otherwise it will decay on it's own.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
I didnt make my thoughts clear- i was afraid someone did something to the cat. It makes sense that it would be from the kitten that was hit - but the paw seemed to big. Im sure im just being paranoid. Thats my worst fear in all this - I know most people could care LESS for these cats and if someone gets too annoyed they may do something horrible.... (thats what I was thinking when I saw the paw).

ALSO - Im getting discouraged already - i do suffer from depression and anxiety and even though I feel REALLY good about this - Im scared what any disappointments or trials may cause me personally. Although when I spoke to animal control - he did say he was giving my number out to people who could help me!! But I cant pick up traps till thursday - which means that I cant start trapping till WEDNESDAY (neutering is done once a week) - and i feel this situation has already been ignored long enough.

Plus this morning I realized I havent seen the kittens in my backyard for a day and a half - the food has not been touched. I dont know if thats a normal situation or not - because if they are hurt or worse I will be LIVID at Animal Contorl for not doing his job when I called on Mon.

2nd the food/water dishes i set out yesterday for the cats at the other building were removed. Making me feel that someone is against this. I really dont care - it makes me angry - the cats are there whether they like it or not and need to eat. BUt im not going to have this on going war with this person either. Im leaving hte food on the ground. Will the cats be ok w/out water - how should I go about that?
3rdly - the A.Control guy wants me to try to move the cats from the 1st building towards mine (farther from the st)... however yesterday I put a 2nd food dish in the other corner of the same yard - and the food wasnt touched!!!! There was a very tiny kitten laying near it - but for 12 hours no cats ate that food - cant they smell it???? How can i get them to move if there not eating food that is 80 feet away??

Thanks for any help.....
post #13 of 13
I posted in your other thread about wet food. Which is always popular.
It could have been a raccoon claw you saw or another animal or it could be a cat that got attacked. The police would not be able to help in this situation but I understand your feelings. The thought of animal cruelty is too much to bear sometimes.
I know you fear heartbreak in helping these kitties and I will be truthful that sometimes it is hard. But the gift of caring is a huge gift you are giving. You are doing for these cats what no one else would. You may lose a cat or one may wander off but you will have shown the cat some love and that people can be good to animals. The rewards are huge. Hang in there.
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