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Unread 10-27-2010   #1 (permalink)
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My wife and I live in North-West Nebraska, a very rural area, and are in the country near a couple of small towns. We have, from time to time fed stray cats that were either feral or dumped off as unwanted pets. We never saw the same cats around for very long, they were probably taken by predators or just moved on. A couple of years ago we had a male, Charley Cat, start hanging around, he's the first one that would come close to us. We got him tamed enough to get him caught, taken to the vet to be neutered and get all the shots. Now he's a very nice house cat but the problem is that Mrs. Charley Cat wouldn't never let us get hold of her and had a big batch of kittens and the kittens have had kittens... well, I'm sure you know the story. We have been able to tame a few and get them "fixed" but some will need to be trapped. The vets around here are charging $70 to $80 for females and $25 to $30 for males. There isn't a low cost place, that I can find and the cost is too much for me. I'm disabled and there isn't allot of money coming in. Do any of you have advice, we have, at least sixteen cats that need to be trapped and spayed/neutered. How do I find a low cost vet close by? Or, are they just in the cities. Thanks, Jim
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Unread 10-27-2010   #2 (permalink)
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Hello and welcome to the forum and THANK YOU for caring about these cats. I recommend you call your vet and any shelters around and ask about rescue organizations that may help you.

You can search on line, too. I recommend starting with Petfinder:

Pet adoption: Want a dog or cat? Adopt a pet on Petfinder.

There is a link at the top labeled "Animal Shelters" that you can search by state and even zip code, I think. To get you started.

Good luck and bless you for caring. Please let us know how things go.
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Unread 10-28-2010   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you, Gail, for your reply and advice. I'm pretty sure the vet clinics around here aren't going to be of much help, very small towns around here and the vets mostly work on livestock. There isn't even a Humane Society within a hundred miles as far as I know. I know some places over on the Front Range of Colorado have low cost spay/neuter vet clinics but that's 250 miles from here. I'll follow up on the link you gave me and see what I can find out. Kind of new on theses computers but getting the hang of it and have found allot of useful information on how to trap the cats without traumatizing them so much. That was a big problem for me, they would get so freaked out I was afraid they would get themselves hurt. I know people around here that would just shoot unwanted cats but my wife and I are going to get this colony's population under control by spay and neutering, even if we have to make payments to the vet or borrow the money. It seems like the cost has gone up so much, wish there was low cost clinics in the rural parts of the country.
Thanks again for your reply and to everyone here for helping kitties. Jim
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Unread 10-28-2010   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Jim, my thought when recommending pet finder and calling vets was that they could direct you to a rescue organization that could help. Some rescues actually will send people out to trap the cats and kittens themselves, is what I mean. Especially if you can find one with a TNR program (trap neuter return).

While the world does mostly seem indifferent or worse to the feral cat's plight you just never know when you are going to connect with the right person or people. They are out there and I pray there are some in your area. Some even travel great distances to help cats.

Thank you for caring, and for not giving up.

By the way, I wonder if you could have some fund raisers. Yard sale, car wash, bake sale? Do you know any boy scouts looking for an Eagle Scout Project? Teens interested in animal husbandry, looking for something good to put on their resume? Energetic kids are sometimes great at organizing and putting on fund raisers.

PS I know what you mean worrying about the stress they will feel find themselves in a trap. The alternative is worse though, of course. It's difficult for some people (me among them) to separate our feelings from these beautiful special animals. But the fact that you are doing it any way speaks volumes about your courage and good heart.
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Unread 10-28-2010   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks again, Gail, for the advice, kind words and encouragement. I found a dog rescue place that's pretty close, I think it's a ranch lady that has a kind heart for dogs, seems I've heard of her before. Going to call her and see if she knows of low cost spay/neuter options around the area.
I've had a history with feral cats, the place I worked at before I got hurt had a big colony. It was a transfer station, the place where the garbage trucks dumped and we baled the trash before hauling it to the land fill. Lots of cats came in in those trucks, don't know how they survived that but many did. I managed to find homes for some of the tame ones with the help of a local pet groomer, Susan. Brought some to live with us too. The boss there made me quit feeding them, not that that made any of them go away with the bales of garbage sitting out back waiting to be hauled to the landfill. It was a very sad place, so always close the dumpster's lid if you have them for trash service! I've always had a love for cats, we had many when I was a kid. They are the most fantastic critter on this planet and have abilities we humans can only dream of.
We will keep looking for help, it would be great if we could find a TNR service but I doubt there will be one around this part of the country. We will get the job done. These cats aren't freeloaders, we were overrun with mice, gophers, moles and so many rabbits we had to put wire mesh around every tree to keep bunnies from killing them. Our cats have made this place varmint free even though we feed them every day.
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Unread 10-29-2010   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Jim, just read your thread, I'm about a million miles away from you but wanted to wish you the best of luck in sorting out your cat colony. People like you are really special, I hope it all works out.

Heidi xx
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Unread 10-30-2010   #7 (permalink)
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Heidi, thank you for saying such nice things and you're support, it means allot. I'd dare say you live a ways from us, might get your paws damp crossing that big pond to help. Best stay put.
Had a bad news/good news situation happen today. The youngest batch of kittens (4 of them) were sick this morning. They were throwing up and had diarrhea and not acting in their typical kitten fashion, play, play, play. I called the vet and we got them rounded up at the appointment time and got them in a carrier. These four are the only ones of the herd that we found at a young enough age to get them tame enough to handle. Judi took them to the vet's office and got them looked at. They all had fever so he gave them worm medicine and a shot of antibiotics, plus some for us to give them twice a day. I hope they will get well fast and get back to being playful kittens again. This was a different vet than we usually see at the clinic. The good news is that he told Judi he would give us a discount on the spay/neutering because of the number of cats we have that need it done. Don't know how much less money it will be but every bit helps!
Thanks again,
Jim
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Unread 10-30-2010   #8 (permalink)
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Hi Jim, hope the kittens are improving now they are on the antibiotics, you and Judi will have your work cut out giving them twice a day to 4 of them! My Sasha is on steroids at the moment and we have to be really creative in how we give her the pills - the favoured method at the moment is pushed inside a soft treat

That's really good news on the discount from the vets, hopefully they will support you all the way.

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Unread 10-30-2010   #9 (permalink)
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Hi Heidi, you wouldn't have known they were the same kittens that were out there yesterday morning! They were back to being their rowdy selves this morning when we went out. I think I found the biggest reason they were feeling bad in the litter box, a big bunch of worms Gross! Poor little guys must have been plumb full of them. The worm meds the doc gave them sure worked fast. Wish we could get hold of all the outside cats at once and get them all doctored. To tell the truth, Heidi, the four little guys are easier to give a dose of medicine than one of our big indoor, spoiled, pet cats, especially Charley Cat. Got to have a first aid kit with you when you go to doctoring on him. He's big, strong and would rather see you bleed than to take medicine. We have five inside cats, all of the rescued, three, including Charley, that were from the outside wild bunch. Cats, cats, and more cats!
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Unread 10-30-2010   #10 (permalink)
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Hi Jim--First of all I want to thank you for all you're doing for these wonderful kitties. I was feeding a colony of cats at my job too and was told to stop or I could be fired. Luckily I joined a cat rescue by my job and there is someone else who now feeds them after dark. The person does not work at my job, se she cannot get in any trouble for feeding them.
I googled "Northwest NebraskaTNR and found some rescues that may be close enough to you. They do the trapping and pay for it. They are all volunteers. Of course, you could make a donation to the organization. Anyway here they are:
Feline Friendz
Omaha
phone: 402-778-1111

Raccoon Valley Animal Sanctuary and Rescue
Urbandale, Iowa
phone: 515-577-1745

Petco
13660 Maple Road
Omaha, Nebraska

I know that most Petcos have cages set up inside their stores by local cat rescues. If you go to your local Petco, you probably can find out which rescue is involved and contact them.
I know there are other organizations out there--one is called Alley Cat Allies, and another is Neighborhood Cats.
Good luck and keep us updated.

Oh, by the way, if you go on Neighborhood Cats website, they have some really good tips for trapping. They said that as soon as you trap a cat/kitten, to cover the entire trap with a blanket or large towel. This somehow is supposed to calm the animal down so he doesn't throw himself against the cage and get hurt.
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