Happy 2021! Remember that old phrase, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going?” Let’s get to it!
Zoom Volunteer Meeting Gets to the Tough Questions
We had a wonderful Volunteer Zoom Call last week, full of presidential cat trivia in honor of inauguration day! Thanks to volunteer Lia for a great question at the end of the zoom meeting. For all of you who support us, here are a few FAQs we thought might help you help us help more cats and their people.
- If I find someone who needs help with an outdoor cat, who do I contact? The best way is to have them go to our website at www.cpawnj.org and click on the cat at the bottom right of the first page that says “Get Help Here”….there’s a form there that collects the relevant information we need to make a plan to help.
- What kind of volunteer help do you need? We are a small, growing group and whatever talents you have, we can use them! Here’s the link to begin the volunteer process: Volunteer
- How do I find out what the laws are about outdoor cats in my town? You can go to your municipal website and click on the local code and search for “cat”. Ordinances can be difficult to interpret so you can also call your local town clerk or health department and see what they say. If you would like help understanding or advocating for change, contact us at email@example.com.
- How can I learn to trap? There are so many good resources and online classes to learn this skill. Best Friends and NYCFCI by Bideawee are two of our favorites. Alley Cat Allies has a great library of webinars you can watch on your own time. Follow us on facebook and instagram and we will share educational webinars as they become available.
- How do I borrow a trap? Right now we are setting up a new trap loan system, but if you need to borrow a trap email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you.
- Do you ever need fosters for friendly outdoor cats? No, we do not foster or do adoptions but rather focus solely on helping outdoor cats get fixed and vaccinated and returned to their homes. We appreciate all of those organizations who do that wonderful work.
- If you find a friendly outdoor cat that someone is feeding, will you try and find them a home? We strongly believe that if an outdoor cat is healthy then our job is to make sure it is fixed and vaccinated. We can help caregivers with short term food assistance if needed and help them get better shelter for the cats and train them on responsible feeding practices. DID YOU KNOW THAT? If the cat is lost, it has a much greater chance of being reunited with its owner if it stays where it is. Many towns don’t have shelters and rescues are full. The caregiver knows the animal and can always work to find the cat a home. In the meantime, it lives outdoors like cats have done for centuries.
We heard your feedback. A lot of people wanted to come.. but forgot! [It’s always the third Wednesday of the month, rain or shine! ] So we’re going to do a better job of reminding you about those meetings. We’ll send the reminder email a week before and also send out a text to our frequent meeters the day before. If you would also like to be on the list for reminder texts, email email@example.com!
TNVR works! Highlighting Bloomfield Township.
Let’s give you some backstory…CPAW NJ began in Bloomfield Township first by assisting People for Animals (PFA) in doing TNVR when Bloomfield had what is called a sponsorship ordinance. The Township paid an annual $10,000 fee to PFA to register colony caregivers and solve complaint issues. This amount did NOT cover the cost of trapping or spay/neuter/vaccinations. Over time the parties realized that it was not necessary for this registration to occur, but rather the Township needed help with the actual trapping. Since the summer of 2019, CPAW NJ has had an informal arrangement with the Township to take referrals from them to help TNVR Bloomfield cats. In 2019 Bloomfield Township passed a revised ordinance outlining feeding and caregiver guidelines. From July 2019 to November 30, 2020 CPAW NJ volunteers have helped with the TNVR of 145 cats, and the Bloomfield Animal Shelter has taken in the less than 12 week old kittens who could be adoptable. The exciting reality of this particular program is that the TNVR in over half of all locations is either done entirely or partially by the caregiver. As a result, many. many more Bloomfield residents know how to perform TNVR, support the practice and community cats in their neighborhoods, AND know who to call when they see a new cat in their colony. The Bloomfield Township ACOs and CPAW NJ work cooperatively to help every situation that comes along. The cost to Bloomfield was NOT another employee but rather the basic medical costs of TNVR — less than $7000 for 145 cats. In addition, the Bloomfield Shelter helped the public more and was able to handle other work more effectively in Bloomfield and the three towns it serves with existing staff. (Disclaimer: TNVR surgeries were halted for almost two months during COVID.)
We’re so proud of our collaborative work in Bloomfield. As always, if you feed or know someone who feeds outdoor cats in the towns named in the image above, please visit cpawnj.org and click the “Get Help Here” icon.
Water Bottles Aren’t Just for Drinking!
Recently we got a call from a wonderful caregiver who had learned to trap and over a year ago trapped all five kittens living on his front porch. Now he told us: “Another guy showed up. I call him Rocky-Bully.” So we connected him with a nearby colony caregiver who still had a trap (they’re now local cat caregiver buddies) and he set the trap. No luck the first weekend — all of the other teenagers kept going in, but not Rocky-Bully. So lead trapper Kylie told him about the water bottle trick! Tie a string around a plastic bottle and use the bottle to prop the trap door open. Like when using a drop trap, many cats can go in and out. But you pull the string, letting the trap door close, when it’s the cat you want. On Sunday evening, he called and said “Guess who finally went in?” SUCCESS!!! Caregivers who work with us know who to call when another untipped cat shows up. Hurrah for this wonderful man!
The Quarantine 15
Staying at home more, a lot of us have put on a little weight the past year. But it’s good news for little Ricky! He was rescued by volunteer Tom and his wife Samantha at 1 day old. It wasn’t easy — or cheap — as countless sleepless nights and trips to the vet were needed to keep “little Ricky” with us. Tom worked tirelessly to help the rest of the cats in the colony by working with the resident caregivers and trying everything from tru catch traps to drop traps. WE LOVE OUR VOLUNTEERS and their dedication to the cats in our communities. Look at Little Ricky a year later, weighing in at 15 pounds, with his sister Ethel and Big Ricky!
Hindsight is 2020!
The tally is in! Our goal was $12K in 12 Days. We met that goal on day 9! Your donations raised a grand total of $19,907 for the month of December 2020. That’s not including the $10K match from our anonymous donor. Incredible! Your generosity has warmed our hearts and inspired us to work harder than ever before to help MORE community cats!
December 2020 Totals
26 Total Cats TNVR’d (from 14 locations!)
1,540 Since April 2017
We Love Our Volunteers!
We miss seeing you in purrson! But we’re holding off on meeting in groups until it’s safe. That’s making it hard to spread the word and recruit new friends. Can you help?
WE NEED YOU….
Cat Airbnb Host Can you be a cat host/hostess one weekend a month? All supplies & emotional support included.
AdvoCATS to convince your town to openly support TNVR! One volunteer reached out to her town of Cedar Grove this week with a quick call and an email. Want to try that in your town? Email Karen@cpawnj.org!
Social media See posts about TNVR worth sharing? Send em our way on Facebook and Instagram!
Trappers, trappers, trappers….keep an eye out for monthly trainings to come.
JOIN us on our monthly volunteer Zoom Call — the third Wed. of every month from 7-8 pm. Keep an eye on your inbox for the link for the February 17 meeting.
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