Hi Ellen, and All,
Southern MD vets who are interested in participating in a feral cat program have been scarce, PERIOD -- I don't understand why, but my group is working on that. (Did you yet hear from Tom or Paula? I know they've been busy, and I didn't get a chance to ask them if they tried you).
Langley Animal Hospital's vet seems to be interested and capable. It's in Hyattsville, and yes, I know that's not Southern Maryland either. But if you have just one or two cats, try contacting them. I am told that they can often fit in a feral speuter midweek. I have never been to Langley AH, but I've been impressed by the staff's intelligence and willingness to help.
Ellen, lots of people ask their vets for a "rescue rate," and some vets will offer it even if you are an individual. If you haven't asked, your vet can't say "yes." So try it. You know that the required vaccination is just rabies, every three years, after the initial shot, right? (I realize that you may have reasons for wanting to give the others, but you should know they are not legally required). The Association of Feline Practitioners has issued updated vaccination guidelines -- requiring less frequent and fewer vaccinations overall. It might make sense to review them again if it's been a while -- you might be over-vaccinating the cats.
How about the Lucky Ones clinic, will they help with some of this, or are their hours impractical for you?
I'd love to be able to expand our program more, but we could not make the case effectively enough that what you say is true -- that there are NOT enough spay/neuter resources in our area, even yet. Our latest grant proposal was turned down
so we're still only able to offer to defray expenses.
If you are comfortable working with a group that refuses to start or work with a TNR program, then the SPCA and Humane Society of Prince George's County has a clinic in Forestville MD. They've got the funding, while my group has the TNR program. Their clinic sometimes does free speuters. Be aware that in the recent past, the sponsoring organization had a volunteer who willingly went and trapped and removed cats, with no significant effort to educate callers as to why the cats were there. I know I'm ranting here, but -- I have not yet seen any change toward TNR or to help caretakers, in the organization. Their board STILL thinks feral cats lead "short, miserable lives." I always try to work with groups that at least know a little about and favor TNR, but I understand that if you are going broke, you may have little choice.