It’s hard to believe that a year ago, the South Jersey TNVR Team was simply an idea.
We knew that a progressive Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Release program was desperately needed for our community’s cats. We started putting our ideas together and our hopes became reality when the People for Animals clinic moved into Millville in the early fall. With training from their Community Cat expert and an amazing clinic staff, who have been so understanding and supportive of our program, we have exceeded our initial expectations for our TNVR Team.
We began working in the fall of 2020, and the pace only picked up in 2021. In the past seven months alone, we have altered more than 200 community cats throughout Cumberland and Salem counties.
In my position as coordinator, most of my work with TNVR happens with a computer in front of me or a phone at my ear. Without the help and skill of our extremely motivated volunteers who are out in the field, we never would have achieved what we did.
I was so impressed to see how amazing our volunteers are doing out in the field. They work together, communicate, and despite crazy weather and circumstances, they manage to catch a cat for every appointment we are lucky to have! It’s one thing to look at numbers and spreadsheets and know that we are making progress, it’s another thing to actually see the cats healthier and happier, and know that they are cared for and will no longer contribute to the overwhelming cat overpopulation problem we continue to struggle with.
Check out some of our volunteer opportunities:
- Transport: We often provide assistance by transporting cats to and from clinic appointments. We need help transporting trapped cats to the People for Animals clinic in Millville on Mondays and Fridays as well as the BVSPCA clinic in New Castle Delaware Tuesdays and Thursdays. The cats are already trapped and stay in their traps throughout transport.
- Recovery: Extreme temperatures (heat and cold) are a challenge. Cats need to be confined for 24 to 48 hours after surgery to ensure that the effects of anesthesia have completely worn off before they are released. We need temperature-controlled areas to recover cats. If you have a basement or bathroom that can comfortably hold a cat for a few hours, we can use your help! We will train you how to provide basic caregiving while they are with you (you do not need to handle the cat).
- Trapping: We are always seeking volunteers with the desire and confidence to be out in the field, hands-on trapping. One year ago, our entire team was completely new to trapping but fortunately it’s a quick study and surprising how much fun it can be!
- Donations: We go through a lot of materials trapping multiple cats each week. We are always in need of tuna and sardine packets, large popsicle sticks, gloves, laundry pods, cut sheets (the size of beach towels) and gas cards, as well as canned and dry cat food to give out to caregivers. Financial donations are also extremely helpful. We also need two specialty items, a drop trap (for cats reluctant to walk into a regular humane trap) and trap dividers (a fork used to contain the cat so we can open the trap in order to provide food, water, and clean bedding.
While we are proud of what we managed to accomplish, we know that there is so much more work to be done. With the continued support of our community and volunteers, we know that we can ensure that each year less and less unwanted kittens are born, adult community cats are healthier, and that caregivers are supported and able to give the cats the care they deserve.
Shelter needs: Breeders edge kitten formula, Purina dry cat and kitten food, packets of tuna and sardines, cat carriers, bully sticks, Kong dog toys, popsicle sticks, all purpose spray cleaner, laundry detergent and newspaper.
Shelter address: 1244 N. Delsea Drive in Vineland.
To submit an adoption form for one of the Pets of the Week or another animal at the shelter, visit https://southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org