Trap, neuter and return targets cats on farms
MIDDLEBURY — Part of what makes Addison County such a great place to live are the numerous farms that mark the landscape. Residents have all enjoyed viewing an old barn glowing in the setting sun and, as animal lovers, they also notice the cats sprawled out enjoying the same sun. In a program aimed at improving their lives, Homeward Bound offers free sterilization and rabies vaccination for stray, barn, and feral cats in the county.
Farms in rural areas provide an ideal territory for cats to thrive. They offer a chance at food and shelter. With those resources available, cats reproduce at will and populations can quickly become too large. Historically, people have dealt with unwanted cats by dropping them off at the shelter, but this solution does not take into account the unique nature of the cat that has been living independently.
Cats are socialized to people in different degrees, depending on where they were born and whether they were raised and handled by people as kittens. Most cats that inhabit Addison County farms and barns are accustomed to life on their own and serve to help by controlling rodent populations. While they may appreciate the hand that puts out food for them, they don’t necessarily want to be pet by it.
As an organization dedicated to the well-being of all animals, whether that animal prefers to nap on a human lap or in a loft of hay, Homeward Bound offers Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) to address the needs of the cats themselves while curbing their reproduction and the resulting overpopulation. TNR not only helps feral cats to live healthier, safer lives, but also supports public health by increasing the number of free-roaming cats who have been vaccinated for rabies.
If you are feeding cats, or dealing with an overlarge population of feline friends, call Homeward Bound at 802-388-1100 to learn how to obtain a spay/neuter voucher. The shelter will provide trapping and transporting instructions and can also provide humane have-a-heart traps at no cost.
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