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Mission of Mercy

June 12th, 2012 by Eric Phelps

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In early May I responded to a plea for help with some feral cats from an apartment complex owner in Southeast Portland. There were a bunch of cats roaming the property, and while they were welcomed guests, he was concerned about the condition of a few of them and that they may be unsterilized.  

I drove out to meet him and assess the situation. Upon arrival I found several cats lounging around the property, all with tipped ears. Feral cats whose ears are tipped (most commonly on the right ear, but sometimes the left ear) have already been spayed or neutered. Clinics tip the ear so that the cat can be easily identified as having been already been spayed/neutered to prevent unnecessarily re-trapping the cat. Several of the cats looked very sick and would need vet care, including two cats with broken or dislocated legs that had long since healed.

This wasn’t a basic trap-neuter-return project and I knew I’d need help trapping, vetting, and holding all the cats, so I called on my friend Carma Crimins of Animal Rescue and Care Fund. She agreed to help and arranged to have another friend, Wilma Perez-Leon, a longtime feral cat advocate and volunteer with the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon (FCCO), also help.

We set out trapping on May 2nd and by the end of May we had trapped fifteen cats. Two cats were unaltered and were neutered at the Feral Cat Coalition’s Clinic. The two cats with leg injuries were both both deemed healthy and, after receiving vet care, were also released. Sadly, three cats were very sick with FIV, including horrible dental disease and were euthanized. The remaining cats were checked out by a vet, treated for parasites, and released back to the property.

This group of cats has several caregivers and folks looking out for their best interests, but this isn’t always the case. If you are interested in helping feral or stray cats in your area or just have questions, please contact IDA.

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