What I do know is that we TNR'd as many cats in 2014 as we did in the two years before combined.
How did that happen?
LOTs of time, gas and hard work!
Our volunteer staff has not increased that much. For one that we gained, we have lost another. The team that actually does the trapping has remained me and one faithful other.
We've added support volunteers that can do things like print and laminate and go on the road to pick up food at pantries. I know that it isn't that friends don't want to help, it s that they cant. Work, family...life gets in the way and not everyone is available to come all the way out here at the crack of dawn and at dusk when trapping is the best.
Adding traps to our inventory has helped a TON...Thanks to Best Friends Animal Society, we added two more traps and that has meant more kitties in for spa treatments!
Adding a wonderful vet to our partnership! Harlan Veterinary Associates and Referral Center has been wonderful to us. A great supporter of TNR and offering us a price that affords us the opportunity to fix more kitties locally!
|Dr. Sternberg and Anne at work!|
More and more people and towns are taking responsibility to their own cat issues. This means they are open to TNR and open to helping pay for it.
This was kind of a year of discoveries for me. I discovered that kitten care is hard. Even with wonderful volunteers to help, it is a difficult and demanding job. We had lots of kittens this past summer and we are still trying to find homes for the last two. We found out that they get sick, they carry disease and sometimes they even die. We know we have made their little lives better and that they have felt loved, but its a strain on volunteers and it's expensive.
I've discovered that while this is my passion and none of it feels like work to me (other than maybe the bookkeeping), I have to limit myself. I have traveled over 80 miles one way to trap cats, then more miles to transport them to the vet and then all the way back home. I get phone calls at all hours about problems, I spend many hours every day working on TNR, Facebook, accounting etc.
And so, decisions have had to be made. We held our final meeting of the Board of Directors earlier in December and so far here is what we are considering:
Kittens and Stray Friendly Cats : We are trying to find a rescue that we can work with to refer these to.
Financial giving: We will continue our methods of fundraising while adding grant writing. We have a volunteer that will begin helping us with that in January!
Limiting Scope of Assistance: While the need is great, we can only do so much. The communities around us have great need and we will begin focusing on those communities. The communities are Walnut, Harlan, Avoca, Hancock, Minden, Oakland, Atlantic, and Shelby. We will continue to assist other communities with issues by offering education and training in TNR). Watch for targeted TNR projects over the summer in some of these communities!
So! Goodbye 2014 and hello 2015! It's going to be a fun ride!