It's been a busy year and I cannot believe it is almost Christmas! I have learned more about the sheer enormity of the feral and stray cat population in Alabama, particularly Birmingham, and come to recognize the large number of cat loving people housing/feeding a dozen or more cats for lack of homes for them. It is obvious that a cat sanctuary as large as Birmingham's Legion Field would be filled to capacity within weeks if it were opened and the problem still wouldn't be solved.
Over the last two years, I have focused most of my spare time (I work part-time), money, car, gas and your gifts on the Trap/Neuter/Release program (TNR) advocated by groups like Alley Cat Allies and which is starting to be supported by humane societies and other rescue groups.
I have trapped or assisted in trapping dozens of feral cats and worked with the local Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic and other rescue groups to get them spayed and neutered. Some I have been able to get adopted or housed with a rescue; others are cared for by kind souls at their homes. Thanks to gifts of cash and food, I have been able to pay for many surgeries and provide cat food for those feeding feral colonies. I am also feeding two colonies of cats in my neighborhood and getting them fixed. One group lives in an abandoned home and another in an alleyway running behind several abandoned homes.
I have come to realize that the strongest need seems to be for a facility that will provide life time care for elderly and disabled cats and/or those whose owners have died or have terminal illnesses and whose families cannot or will not provide for them once their owner has died. That will take funds for a building and land and staff to care for the cats.
I am currently focused on a program run by the Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic in Irondale, AL called 35206 FIXED. Most animals picked up or taken to the Birmingham/Jefferson County Animal Control come from the 35206 zip code. Through January 31 anyone living in that zip code can bring in their dog(s) and or cat(s) and for $10 each get them spayed or neutered and get a rabies shot. There is no income requirement - just identification that you live in that zip code.
I am assisting several people who feed feral cats trap them and get them to the clinic. Over the last two months I have taken 14 cats to the clinic and there are dozens more scheduled to be trapped.
Thank you for your support and encouragement for my work. Your generosity has made it possible for me to help many animals that had no other advocate.
One of the friendlier ferals I feed