No Kill Movement
Making the decision to terminate an animal’s life should never be made lightly, it can not be reversed. Regardless of how many animals a shelter is forced to put to death each year, each of those animals is unique and should be considered carefully and deliberately. Contrary to opinion, the staff at the local animal shelter do not enjoy this practice at all, in fact they often struggle emotionally with the tough jobs they must do. Most of them would prefer to eliminate this extremely unpleasant part of their jobs. It is the position of this rescue that in order to save more lives, we must partner with our local shelters. We must not only save as many as we can by rescuing at risk animals ourselves, but also work within our community as a whole to help further the multi-faceted efforts detailed within the No Kill Movement to work towards creating a community where we no longer have to kill any animals unless it is to humanely end suffering of a terminally ill or fatally injured animal.
Working within our community, building the programs prescribed by the No Kill Equation and helping people to see that each life is valuable, we can turn our community into a no kill community. Despite opinions to the contrary, this is possible. Other cities in the United States have implemented the No Kill Equation and have effectively eliminated killing as a form of population control. This requires a commitment from all of us, however, rescue organizations, volunteers, community leaders and shelter employees. The program model prescribed by the No-Kill movement has successfully changed communities and it can be done here too! Modifications to the way our local shelters operate such as deepened rescue organization partnerships, enhanced volunteer programs, extensive foster care programs, the Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) program, and high-volume low-cost spay and neuter programs to name a few. These programs require a greater involvement from the animal-loving community as well, shelter staff can NOT do this on their own. We at WSKR believe that Tucson can make this happen and we intend to do our part to make it happen.
Trap-neuter-return is a method of feline population control and feral colony stabilization that is central to the No Kill Movement. It is centered around the trapping of feral cats in humane cage traps. Captured feral cats are then transported to a TNR clinic. In Tucson, there are several clinics, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona is one of them. At this TNR clinic they are altered at no charge to the person who trapped them. Many TNR clinics also provide basic vaccinations. The cat is also normally marked by "ear tipping". This involves trimming 0.25 inches from the tip of the left ear. This is so that if it is trapped in the future, it can be identified as an altered member of a stable feral colony and can be released immediately and not taken in to a clinic again for unnecessary procedures. Finally, the cat is returned to the person who brought it in, still in it's humane trap and is to be released in the same spot it was captured.
People who advocate TNR have determined that the trapping and removal of feral cats from a colonized area do not create a reduction in feral cats. In contradiction to that opinion, TNR advocates know that this instead creates a "vacuum effect". Because cats are territorial in nature, as cats are removed from their territory, other cats begin to move in to replace them and then breed. This can make the initial removal pointless in the end, because population continues to increase because all cats in the territory are intact and fertile. Also, none of the cats are vaccinated so diseases spread unchecked. On the other hand, if cats in a colony are managed via TNR, all cats in a territory slowly become altered and vaccinated and the colony becomes more stable and population stabilizes.
Studies at a university in North Carolina found that TNR was consistently effective in stabilizing colonies and after two years even a reduction in population by approximately 36%, meanwhile non-TNR'd colonies increased by approximately 47% *. Another peer-reviewed study showed a reduction in TNR'd cat populations by 66% over an 11 year period **.
To participate in TNR, contact WSKR and we'll put you in contact with organizations who are renting humane traps. The Humane Society of Southern Arizona Spay/Neuter Clinic participates in the TNR program. Once a feral cat is trapped, you can drop it off (in a humane trap) on any day the clinic is open for spay/neuter by 8 am and they will spay/neuter the animal, 'tip' its ear and give it the necessary vaccinations. You will need to return that afternoon to pick the animal up and take it to the location it was trapped in and release it.
* Michael K. Stoskopf and Felicia B. Nutter, "Analyzing approaches to feral cat management-- one size does not fit all," JAVMA, Vol 225, No. 9, November 1, 2004
** Julie K. Levy, David W. Gale and Leslie A. Gale, "Evaluation of the effect of a long-term trap-neuter-return and adoption program on a free-roaming cat population", JAVMA, Vol 222, No. 1, January 1, 2003
No Kill Movement and Trap/Neuter/Release (TNR)
Help make a difference and find out more about the No-Kill Movement and TNR today!
**WSKR does not have humane traps to loan out, nor do we intake feral cats into our program. If you need help figuring out how you can TNR the ferals in your neighborhood, we can guide you to groups who loan out traps and to the clinics who offer TNR services for feral cats for no cost to person who brings them in. We cannot trap them for you and we cannot relocate them to another neighborhood and we cannot take them from you. Remember, part of TNR is "Return", they must return to the neighborhood they were trapped in for the process to fully work as designed.**