“This Trap Neuter and Return project started out simple enough. We were advised there were 6-7 adults, but we say 16 cats and have trapped 14 so far including 7 kittens. One of the little tortoise shell girls had to be put to sleep; she was too sick. Another one, a black fellow, is just a bag of bones with a terrible cough. He’s being treated now; fingers crossed! A couple of the adults also have bad coughs and one female had to have her tail removed. 6 of the adult cats are female and only one male. Just imagine how fast this colony could multiply!”
This is a typical story for Rural Animal Welfare Resources (RAWR) in Ireland. It describes very accurately what RAWR volunteers do most of their time: Trap Neuter and Return (TNR) feral cats. It is necessary to make a positive difference for their health (due to inbreeding, fighting and cruelty) in the long term.
The feral cat is often viewed as a pest and annoyance, yet many members in rural Irish communities feed and provide housing for them. While this is helpful and kind, it complicates the issue of stray (and abandoned) domestic felines. Better conditions which is no more than basic food and shelter, allows the feral cats to multiply, and multiply, and… well, you got the point. RAWR loves animals, and has learned to like helping communities. Our aim is to turn every local feral cat issue – one that often causes friction within the community and between neighbours – into a positive. RAWR neuters the feral cats which makes the colony manageable by the community itself.
Rather than a blame game, humans and cats increase their synergy: Humans have less vermin and nuisance from the cats, and the cats have a dedicated carer to address health issues, food and shelter. A consistent and comprehensive TNR program is what RAWR believes in. The first colony we tackled two years ago has NOT produced kittens since or has a single outbreak of disease. The RAWR cat food donations box in the local supermarket provides the colony with food. Finally, the colony managers signal new arrivals who are neutered immediately on the RAWR subsidised neutering scheme, financed with local, national and international fundraising.
Rural Animal Welfare Resources (RAWR) is a grassroots animal welfare organisation run entirely by volunteers.
RAWR aims to encourage and implement practical solutions to animal suffering in West Cork.