It is said that it pays to advertise and this has proved so true since we started making residents aware of our Community Cat Program. We have now signed up another four volunteers, to complement the other loyal volunteers we already have, and the “newbies” are prepared to assist in different aspects of the program. When I wrote the first article I wanted the residents to realize that they are not the only City to have many, many community cats. All along the beach and inland too in Dade County, it is estimated that there are in excess of 500,000 ownerless cats surviving as best they can, so the more people that volunteer to assist in controlling this situation the better, since cats reproduce prolifically and it is our lofty aim to have what are known as “sterile colonies” throughout the City.
Fortunately Sunny Isles Beach, along with other forward thinking cities throughout the US have realized that the most effective method of controlling cat populations is to adopt a TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) Program whereby the cats are humanely trapped by volunteers, taken to local vets or the Humane Society to be sterilized and vaccinated against rabies, recuperated, and then returned to where they were originally found, which is generally where there is a food source provided by one of our many official feeders.If anyone has some time on their hands, perhaps YOU could do some, or all of this? We can teach you everything, how to trap, or perhaps you just want to “taxi” them to and from the vet, or perhaps you could hold them in a carrier overnight while they recuperate?There are so many different ways to make a difference and be part of the solution.
We are also trying to adopt out kittens and young cats that are born or have been dumped in the city. However, kittens born to feral mothers (please see the little poem below to more easily understand their inbred fear of humans) are generally extremely frightened by us and if taken to the Humane Society would be deemed non adoptable and euthanized immediately. Therefore another aspect of the program is to find caring people that will spend time with them, socializing them by touching and holding them etc. to eradicate their inherent fear of people and make them adoptable, and it is scientifically proven that the lucky people that adopt them will live longer and happier lives for doing so.
If nothing so far has interested you, perhaps when you are out getting healthy by walking around, you could pass by a few of the feeding stations and check that everything is “to code”. Our official feeders know exactly what to do, but many well meaning people put food down on styrofoam plates, littering the sidewalks and drawing unnecessary and negative awareness to the cats.
There has to be something that has spiked your interest, so please call Helena Forbes, Code Compliance Division Manager at 305- 792-1772 or Desiree Liguori, Administrative Coordinator at 305-792-1792 and make Sunny Isles Beach a better place for the residents and the CATS.