The Côte Saint-Luc Cats Commmittee held its first meeting of 2012 recently. As the official liaison between the committee and city council, it was my pleasure to share an energized gathering of people who – like me – adore felines.
Alanna Devine of the SPCA, Johanne Tassé of the Companion Animal Adoption Centres of Quebec (CAACQ) and Côte Saint-Luc Associate General Counsel Cheri Bell were among our special guests. Cheri has already had a number of meetings with Alanna and she will serve as a big help for me in the coming months as I wish to bring forward some new measures pertaining to the cat population in our community.
Our Trap, Neuter and Release (TNR) program resulted in almost 50 cats being sterilized in 2012. This would not have been possible without our devoted group of volunteers, headed by the dynamic Shelley Schecter.
Shelley said that there is no question this committee has made a difference. If we can get more volunteers in 2012, a lot more can be done. This includes trying to change the mindsets of landlords and condo board associations which prohibit cats to be on their premises. She also shared a sad story of people who were feeding cats that had already been sterilized at a condo on CSL Road. The condo board was against this and one gentleman went outside, took the food which was waiting for the cat and threw it away.
Shelley said she has noticed that TNR is gaining more credibility than before. The important issue is this: TNR is not just picking cats up and neutering and vaccinating them; it is also maintaining the colonies. No one likes to release a cat back outside, but at this point we do not always have a choice. It is important to get the tame ones and kittens off the street and maintain the wild ones.
Our committee extended thanks to Dr. Marlene Kalin and her team at the Côte Saint-Luc Hospital for Animals. They did a wonderful job treating the cats we brought in and even found homes for some of them. One member of our committee, in fact, wants to launch the TNA program – Trap, Neuter and Adopt.
Johanne Tassé provided us with an excellent recommendation: that we start using the term “community” cats instead of “feral” or “stray” and consider actually naming colonies to give them more identity and importance.
Just as a reminder, we do have a cat hotline at 514-485-6800 ext CATSa and a Facebook page. We encourage people to call the hotline if they are interested in adopting a cat.
In the coming months look for a promotional video to be produced and for us to announce some exciting fundraising initiatives and events.
Here is a feature on Shelley on CTV Montreal's Power of One: