EFA: Etsy For Animals Etsy For Animals: November's Charity of the Month is... Operation Catnip, TNR

Etsy for Animals (EFA) aka Artists Helping Animals,

is a team of independent artists, craftspeople,

vintage sellers and craft suppliers on Etsy.com

who are dedicated to providing charitable relief to animals

by donating a portion of the profits from their shops

to an animal charity of their choosing,

and/or to EFA's featured Charity of the Month.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

November's Charity of the Month is... Operation Catnip, TNR

Charity of the Month is...

Nominated by Veronica of ScrappyRat
Text & photos courtesy of Operation Catnip

Who we are... Founded in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1997, Operation Catnip is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to reducing feral and free-roaming unowned cat populations through sterilization.

What are feral cats ? A feral cat is a domestic cat that has developed a natural fear of humans. Most ferals are the offspring of stray or abandoned household pets or a failure to spay/neuter them. Raised without human contact, they quickly revert to a wild nature and form colonies where food and shelter are available. 

Most feral cats are acclimated to their outdoor lifestyle and would not adjust well to an indoor home. More importantly there are not enough homes available due to the over-population from a lack of sterilization. Feral cats make up a large portion of the cats killed at animal shelters.

What can be done to help feral cats ?

The plight of feral and free-roaming unowned cats has captured the hearts of animal lovers for many years, but only within the last two decades has a non-lethal option for their control become more widely available. Called “trap-neuter- return” or TNR, this humane alternative involves trapping, sterilizing, vaccinating, ear-tipping and re- turning the cats to their colonies where they are looked after by their caretakers.

Through TNR we can greatly reduce the numbers of unwanted feral and stray cats which lowers the intake and euthanasia rates at animal shelters. This saves tax dollars and leaves more space at animal shelters for adoptable cats. TNR also addresses the public health concern about rabies, and reduces annoying behaviors such as cats fighting and spraying. This solution is believed to successfully reduce birth rates and improve the overall health of the colony.

How does Operation Catnip fit in the solution?

Operation Catnip is a nonprofit organization that operates a high-volume, no-charge clinic where feral and free-roaming unowned cats are spayed/ neutered and vaccinated. 

In addition, Operation Catnip operates a voucher program through which feral and free-roaming unowned cats are sterilized at local veterinary clinics with a small co-pay from the caretaker. 

Our clinics are run entirely by volunteers (veterinarians, vet technicians and trained lay people) and are capable of sterilizing over 100 cats in a matter of hours. All cats have the tip of their left ear cropped, which identifies them as sterilized.

Who makes Operation Catnip possible ?

Feral Cat Caretakers - Operation Catnip is a spay/neuter clinic and does not participate in the actual trapping of cats. We partner with those caring individuals who have become part of the humane solution by responsibly maintaining feral cats in their communities. In order to use the Operation Cat- nip program, these caretakers must assume responsibility for trapping and transporting cats to and from the clinic and en- sure adequate and continued care for the cats for the remainder of their lives.

Volunteers - Operation Catnip is run entirely by dedicated volunteers. Licensed vets perform all spays and neuters while vet technicians, vet students and trained lay people provide technical and administrative support. No experience is necessary -- we are happy to provide any necessary training. Operation Catnip is always looking for volunteers to staff its clinics, perform administrative tasks or assist with publicity and fund-raising projects.

Donors - Thanks to the veterinarians and other volunteers who generously donate their time, Operation Catnip can offer its clinics free of charge. However, the cost of medical supplies is very high and Operation Catnip relies entirely on donations from the public to run its clinics—we receive no government funding of any kind. We estimate that the cost to sterilize and vaccinate each cat is at least $26 so please consider a tax-deductible donation to Operation Catnip.

Operation Catnip


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