A couple of weeks ago, some neighbors contacted me to see if I could help them get control of a growing feral cat problem a couple of blocks away. Since then I've been doing research and collecting gear to start a TNR (Trap, neuter, release) program there. I'll be posting details here as it goes on.
For those unfamiliar with TNR, the goal is to humanely trap the cats, take them to be spayed and neutered and vaccinated, then bring them back and release them back to their colony. This way the colony doesn't get any bigger and you have a better chance of keeping them healthy. Before trapping the cats, I'm setting up a feeding schedule. Before too long they should start to wait for me, and then I can put the food in traps and voila! Trapped cats. That's how it's supposed to work at least...
I have a wildlife camera set up at the site so periodically you will see pictures that look like the picture below. This means it was taken when no one was present. It's a great way of monitoring and identifying the cats.
I'd like to briefly mention the people that are so far helping out with this potentially difficult process. My dad is my daily helper with feedings and logistics, and my husband, James, comes to help sometimes as well. A couple of experienced cat friends, Laurie and Brita, have let me borrow their traps and pick their brains. They have also offered to help with transporting the kitties after their surgeries. My lovely neighbors, who have been feeding the cats for a while now and were the ones that asked me for help with this, are covering expenses and are allowing me free range of their properties. It's been great so far with everyone pitching in where they can. I very much appreciate it! I'm sure there will be more along the way and I'll keep this updated.