The Dot Project - November 7th - 12th
It seems a fitting tribute to call our annual fall spay/neuter plan the 'Dot Moyle Project', in light of her many years of animal welfare efforts.
Several of us sat down to lay out a plan for a SNIP initiative. We are targeting the week of November 7 – 12 and again, I’ve set our goal at 100 cats. It’s attainable with a good core organization – 15 appointments at 3 vet clinics, 25 at one location, and 25 at CSNC, with a few more at the remaining vet clinics. Note that this is not a one-day event, but can be spread out through the entire week. I’m going to estimate a cost of $50 per procedure, $15 extra for vaccines including rabies.
If you are on this list, I’m hoping you will consider pitching in wherever you see fit, and if you know of others who should be included, please encourage them to come on. We need to start working on it now.
Since Jimmie Hoffman and Dave Burgess have been actively trapping in neighborhoods all over the county this year, I rely heavily on them for expertise and target areas. They know the little old couples who feed cats but can’t afford to spay them, the streets where dozens of kittens are constantly popping up, and the areas just multiplying out of control. Feel free to add your targets to our list. So far:
We will collect applications from folks who truly need help and rate them on a scale of 1 – 3. Hopefully we can continue helping folks after this week – but the advantage of doing the big push during 11/7 – 12 is that we can focus publicity on the need to spay. I’m constantly just bowled over by folks who don’t get it.
Key to our success is finding a warehouse or empty space where cats can be held prior to surgery and for a few days afterwards. MOST of these folks DON’T have transportation or any place to hold their cats, so they don’t show up for appointments. What enabled us to succeed with our 100-cat initiative in 2006 was that the County leased us the old Fairgrounds building (since torn down) and we collected patients before the vets were waiting to do surgeries.
By now one of my folks has probably contacted a businessman about lending us a warehouse with some security and electricity. If you know of other possibilities, please let me know. We don’t need much space, but it has to be secure – we don’t want strangers wandering through.
Trapping teams. Dave has
built several radio-controlled traps that make it easier to get the
right cat. We also have quite a few of the Hav-A-Heart style
traps. We’ll loan whatever is needed. But again, Jimmie and
Dave can’t do everything. Do you know of anyone who would like to join
their TNR efforts year-round as well?
Crates and cages. Females need to be confined for a few days, and even males can’t just rush right back out after The Big Day. We can label and return the cages. The ideal is small-dog sized wire crates.
Volunteers from the vet tech
community to make sure everyone is recovering nicely. This won’t
involve handling cats so much as watching for problems – i.e., post
to pay at least some small portion, and hopefully
some of the surgeries would be covered by DSS vouchers. But if we
only do 10 cats at a cost of $50, expenses will add up. I know of
several folks who will send a check to cover a few cats. If we
put our heads together, let’s see if we can raise some creative
financing. How about a school project or two for collecting
change, as we did last year? Quarters add up quickly. Is anyone
going to have a booth at the fair that could collect change?
Publicity. The goal is to make people aware of the overpopulation problem. If you spay, it stops at one. We need a good TV story, some good newspaper coverage, maybe a student who wants to create a video about how to prevent 50 female cats times 20 offspring per year. It would be nice to have good posters and hand-out materials.
We have begun collecting items such as plastic sheeting, disposable wash cloths, cage covers, food, etc. We have about $1000 dedicated to the Dot Project already. We have the need, and I think we can have the volunteers to make this happen.
Please let me know how you can help.