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Situation - need advice

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hope someone has some words of wisdom or some prayers. Here's the background:

I recently learned about a situation through a feral meetup group I belong to. There are 5-6 kittens and a mama cat living under a trailer at a school. There are 1-2 other adults in the area as well (obviously at least one male). A teacher has been trying to get help for a few weeks to trap them with no luck. The school got mad last week because of the fleas that are now everywhere and called a pest control company that came out and sprayed for fleas and is planning on trapping all the cats and having them killed.

I contacted the teacher this AM and told her I can trap tonight and tomorrow night - she is willing to foster the kittens -about 8 weeks old she thinks. I can work with other contacts I have regarding the adults. She has a master key and will let me in but there are security cams and obviously she doesn't want to lose her job and they already know she is involved, or has been but they told her to get out of it now.

So she is going to talk to the principal and see if they will let me trap them instead. I told her to tell them I will sign a release, the fleas will be gone, the cats will be alive and they won't have to pay a dime. I am worried that they are going to say forget it and all the cats will be trapped and killed.

Any ideas???
post #2 of 7
What do you plan to do with the older cats? Won't the fleas continue to be a problem if you trap them and release them? Or you're hoping that application of Advantage at the vet + the pest control will do the trick?

Normally I'd recommend printing out some brochures from Alley Cat Allies to help the difficult people understand the reason for a different decision - but this is a different case. The only thing I think that can be done is for the teacher to appeal to them and their "sense of humanity" for the lives of at least momma and the kittens.

With security cameras in place, it can't be done without permission.

Sending mega vibes she's able to get permission and the lives of these cats will be spared!

post #3 of 7
yes, an OK from the prinicipal is usually the the best. Necessary here as the area is camera-supervised...

The real problem here is the principal had probably already made his stand: kill off the cats, kill off the fleas, the teacher shall not intervene any more...
Most principals dont like to openly be pushed into a change their decisions.

IF the prinicipal can be talked into a better solution, your proposal is excellent. I want to suggest some extra ideas for your teacher friend.

The cats have been there several weeks, withougt anybody bothering much.
They do bother now as fleas are there. No wonder, it looks bad, the headmaster MUST do something and quickly.

Thus the issue for the principal are not the cats, but problems hereabouts, mainly parasites.

Solution: Make it a school-project in practical ethics and solution of problems.
A mini-TNR. Perhaps a group of pupils wants to be in charge/participating??
The grown up cats who cant be adopted continue to live there, including a regular Advantage-spot on treatment.
Remind the principal, having cats near tends to keep the rats away...

Remind; which signals different solutions send.
Killing off the cats is easy "solution". But what signal does it send to the pupils? = Killing is usually the best solution?! What if someone gets angry with, say, a principal. There are gunmen for hire... In bigger scale, go into war instead of try to find a compromise.
TNR / adoption being the ethical no kill solution.

If the school is at least religious, hammer on it. Ethics...
Remind about the tale about the lost sheep... etc.

Jewish traditions are very animal-friendly.
Moslems rather too, as far as I know. It is not difficult to make a case.
Besides, moslems are of tradition rather friendly to cats.

Good luck!
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice!

I have now obtained permission to trap but they are pushing for "get them removed by next week or else" and I can not find fosters yet. I don't know if these are strays or ferals and that will make a huge difference as to what I can do/who will adopt, etc. I am driving there tonight to see the situation for myself.

I was not planning on doing TNR unless I can convince the school because right now they will just get the exterminator to remove them even if I TNR them -tho the chances of them going in the traps again are slim to none (haha!). This is going to take bigger guns then just me so I have contacted the feral groups in the area.

It's interesting you mention doing a "min-TNR" as a school project because last night I read about Nevada Junior High School's Sterile Feral program and would love to do something like that there:

I have been making phone calls and sending emails all morning. This afternoon I have to pick up another feral from my colony at the vet who just got spayed and return her to my colony and then drive to this other location to see what's up.

If anyone in SoCal can help foster even if just short-term let me know. I have crates and LARGE cages I can loan out.

Thanks again for your help!
post #5 of 7
Techie girl,

I live in Orange County. I have 3 feral kittens at my house in Costa Mesa (my first time with ferals) and another at my boyfriend's house in Fullerton (wandered in on its own). I'm kind of overwhelmed with kitten taming right now.

I really don't want to take on more even though I really want to help you. I might be able to help you find short term care takers for one or two of the kittens for one or two weeks if they are flea free and tested for FIV etc. Let me know if you are successful with your trapping.
post #6 of 7
Stefan, that was brilliant! And that Nevada high school program is really interesting! You two were obviously thinking along the same lines...

Best of luck - I'm sending more vibes that it all comes together! I'm so glad you got the permission.

post #7 of 7
How are things progressing?

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