Cat Lovers Unite To Help Area Alley Cats

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Warsaw’s harbor and parks have long been the habitat of stray and feral cats. Some of the animals are fed by concerned caretakers, but they are still without homes and are subject to cold weather, and becoming prey to other animals.
Stover Animal Rescue is planning to do a Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) project for stray and feral cats March 7-9, in Warsaw. This project entails setting up humane traps in known areas where feral and stray cats live and who have “caretakers,” that provide food, water, and/or shelter. The project is a humane and effective approach to help decrease growing populations of stray and feral cats, and improve their lives. In addition to being spayed or neutered, cats will be given a rabies vaccine. By planning this project near spring time, litters can be prevented. This TNR clinic is already full, but the volunteers working this clinic would like to have another one for Warsaw in the future.
It is anticipated that approximately 60 to 80 cats will be trapped beginning March 7. Some of them are near businesses or residences where volunteers have permission to enter. The City of Warsaw has also given its permission to trap on its properties. Owners of those properties will need to be on-hand during TNR to give permission to set traps and sign the surgery consent form.  Volunteers prefer not to go on to private property when owners are not present because of safety concerns and because owners may be needed to help trap cats that hide from those who do not normally feed them.  Those residents who have personal cats are advised to keep them inside during the TNR. Healthy, spayed and neutered feral cats that have been cared for and monitored will be released into the population on March 8 or 9. Any stray, friendly kittens or sick cats may be taken into the care of licensed rescues for treatment or medical if resources are available.
All traps will be marked with the location where the cats are caught so that they can be released at the same location after surgeries and recovery time. A licensed veterinarian, Dr. Angie Holt, from Chipman Road Animal Clinic, and her techs from Lee’s Summit, will be performing surgeries, vaccines, ear cleaning, and post-op pain medication. There will be a small notch tipped on the left ear of the cats to indicate that they have been fixed. Although there is no cost for this service, donations are welcome to help continue the program.
For owners of cats who cannot afford regular prices of spaying and neutering personal pets, the Sedalia Spay and Neuter Clinic offers low-cost options. Its address is 214 West Main Street, Sedalia, and contact number is 660-827-4844. It is also possible that volunteers at the Stover Animal Rescue can help with fixing cats for those who can’t afford to pay for it. Go to the Stover Animal Rescue website or Facebook page to “events” and Warsaw TNR, and fill out the online submission form for future help.
Stover Animal Rescue has provided TNR and outreach to Stover, Gravois Mills, Versailles, Barnett, Lincoln, Ionia, Warsaw, Sedalia, Ivy Bend and surrounding areas since 2018 and has helped fix over 450 animals to date.  The TNR has been shown to stabilize feral cat colonies. 
During an 11-year study of TNR at the University of Florida, the number of cats on campus declined by 66 percent with no new kittens being born after the first four years of operation. TNR has been successfully practiced for decades in the U.S. after being proven in Europe. According to Alley Cat Allies, scientific studies show that TNR improves the lives of feral cats, improves their relationships with the people who live near them and decreases the size of colonies over time.