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Being a Volunteer...

by Liz

Trap, Neuter, Return Volunteer – Durham City and District Branch

What is TNR (trap, neuter, return)

TNR programs are run by many charities. The aim is to trap feral cats, neuter them and return them to the place they were caught. Kittens who are young enough can be taken into care and tamed, however the window for this is small. Feral cats cannot be tamed and are often incredibly shy of human contact.

What to I do?

I support Durham CPs main TNR volunteer to attend sites (often stables, farms, even gardens) where feral colonies are becoming out of hand. The unneutered females often attract numerous toms, there is often fighting and endless litters of kittens, many do not survive. We set traps, once the cat has been trapped they are taken straight to the vet, neutered, treated for fleas and worms and tested for FIV. Cats are also ear tipped, which means the left ear is cut off, which is an international indication that this is a neutered feral cat. If everything is ok they can be returned to where they were taken from.

Why do I love it?

Although there can be a lot of sitting around and waiting, the work we do means that feral colonies become under control. They are often disruptive and their activities can affect local cat populations. This all calms down once the cats are neutered. They are likely to be healthier, the queens because they are no longer producing endless litters and the toms because they no longer fight. Once in a while I also get to snuggle with little kittens.

Kittens

Learn more - https://www.cats.org.uk/aberystwyth/feature-pages/feral-cats--trap-neuter-return-tnr

Dog Walker and Cat Cuddler – Brysons Animal Shelter

What do I do?

Walk dogs and cuddle cats, it’s that simple!

Why do I love it?

I get to walk loads of different dogs and stroke numerous kitties. Which is a plus for any animal lover. I also get to see how many of these wonderful animals get homes, and most of the time fairly quickly too. It has really helped build confidence in my skills as a dog walker, getting to walk dogs of all shapes and sizes. The staff and other volunteers are super friendly and everyone really cares. It is also lovely to see how many people want to help, sometimes those dogs are hardly in the kennels with people lined up to take them out!

Brysons

Learn more - http://www.brysons.org.uk/get-involved/

Cat Fosterer – Helping Pets North East

What do I do?

This is my newest voluntary role. I have offered up my spare room to house cats in need of rehoming. I look after the cat like it’s my own, feeding cleaning, stroking and play. Take pictures and give updates for the website. If needed I take the cat to the vets.

Why do I love it?

If I could have all the cats in the world I would! But I cannot really afford that. This way I get to care for lots of different kitties and in a time of need too. I’m dreading and excited for the time my first foster cat Lola gets rehomed. She’s a gorgeous girl and I have loved getting to know her, so I’ll miss her massively. On the upside I get to see her go to a lovely home and make somebody else really happy so we can help another in need kitty.

Lola

Learn more - http://www.helpingpets.org.uk/become-a-foster-carer


The Joys of Autumn

by Liz