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Cats trapped by Friendly Ferals of Forest Hills were sterilized, rabies vaccinated, and eartipped at no charge by the ASPCA at the TNR Spectacular! on July 25. (Photo by Friendly Ferals)

Cats trapped by Friendly Ferals of Forest Hills were sterilized, rabies vaccinated, and eartipped at no charge by the ASPCA at the TNR Spectacular! on July 25.

Photo by Friendly Ferals

NYC Eartips: Fall/Winter 2009

ASPCA Hosts TNR Spectacular! in Queens

by Jesse Oldham, ASPCA Shelter Outreach

On Saturday, July 25, the ASPCA Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic hosted TNR Spectacular! All five mobile spay/neuter clinics were booked with feral cats, and by day's end, a record number 138 cats had been spayed or neutered! Feline spay/neuters were performed in the clinics parked outside the New York Hall of Science in Queens, while feral cat continuing education sessions were presented inside the Hall of Science's auditorium. The sessions included:

Vet Q&A: A Day in the Life of the Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic

Post-operative Care for Feral Cats

Working Together to Help Hoarders in Your Community

The Vet Q&A session featured Doctor Ellsworth Thorndike, ASPCA Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic; Senior Veterinary Assistant Cindy Carter; and Medical Staff Manager and LVT Jose Lopez presenting information on health issues that affect feral cats, what can be treated and how, given the hurdle of the cats not being socialized and ultimately being returned to their colonies. Mindy Bough, ASPCA's Senior Director of Client Services and Katie Lindquist, a Client Services Associate, presented the Post-operative Care for Feral Cats document, walking the audience through photographs of what a properly healing suture looks like during the Post-operative Care for Feral Cats session. They also covered what problematic sutures that need follow-up care might look like, and their potential causes. These sessions were moderated by the Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic's Senior Director, Aimee Hartmann.

Allison Cardona, Director of the ASPCA's Disaster Response department, presented Working Together to Help Hoarders in Your Community. This session covered types of hoarding behavior, the key players that should be involved in a hoarding situation, who to reach out to, and why it might not be the best solution to jump in and start spaying/neutering immediately.

Along with free spay/neuter services, the ASPCA had information tables organized by Senior Administrative Director Jesse Oldham, and hosted by the ASPCA's Humane Education and Government Affairs staff. The NYC Feral Cat Initiative hosted an outreach table for the public, explaining what a feral cat is, what TNR is, and how to get involved — plus how to get to use the Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinics they saw parked before them!

About the Author

Jesse Oldham is Senior Administrative Director for Community Outreach at the ASPCA. Additionally, Jesse founded and directed Slope Street Cats, a Brooklyn-based non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to promoting and facilitating TNR for feral cats from 2004 until its phase-out in 2009. Slope Street Cats provided public TNR education and feral cat caretaker workshops and operated a successful TNR trap bank in Brooklyn. Jesse remains active in the NYC TNR community by continuing to teach TNR certification workshops on behalf of the NYC Feral Cat Initiative and continues to develop and facilitate feral cat education and information resources as needed within the community with the ASPCA and NYC Feral Cat Initiative.