'Bag Ladies' Luncheon Raises Funds for Feral Cat Program in the Sandhills
Feral Friends of the Sandhills (FFS) will celebrate National Feral Cat Day Friday, Oct. 16, to remind people that "trap-neuter-return" and other humane programs for feral cats are in the best interest of the cats and the community.
A "Bag Ladies" Lunch will be held that day from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Ironwood Cafe Friday.A silent auction of new and gently-used handbags will be held to raise funds.
"Feral cats are members of the domestic cat species, but they cannot be adopted into homes," says Sherry Mortenson, a founding member of FFS. "They live outdoors in family groups called colonies. 'Trap-neuter-return' is the best course of action for feral cats, because it ends the breeding cycle and stops behaviors associated with mating."
National Feral Cat Day was launched in 2001 by Alley Cat Allies, the national advocate for feral and stray cats and a recognized authority on "trap-neuter-return' -- a program in which cats who live outdoors are humanely trapped and brought to a veterinarian to be evaluated, spayed or neutered and vaccinated.
Cats that have undergone the procedure are "ear tipped." While under anesthesia, a small portion of the left ear is painlessly removed for identification.Those tame cats and kittens are removed from a colony and adopted out by animal rescue groups.
"We applaud Feral Friends of the Sandhills for its work and to educate their neighbors about the benefits of programs that rely on 'trap-neuter-return' and the use of humane deterrents to ensure that people and outdoor cats get along peacefully," says Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies.
Robinson noted that scientific evidence as well as decades of hands-on experience show that "trap-neuter-return" is more humane than programs that rely on "catch and kill."It is also more effective because it stops intact cats who evade capture from breeding and starting the cycle all over again, a phenomenon known as the vacuum effect.
"The cost of 'catch and kill' is too high, and not only in terms of dollars," Robinson says."Being killed in an animal pound or shelter is the leading documented cause of death for cats in the United States."
FFS is a nonprofit organization based in the Sandhills that supports and promotes 'trap-neuter-return' as the best course of action for feral cats. FFS uses the low cost spay/neuter services of the Companion Animal Clinic of the Sandhills. Since mid-2008, FFS has spayed and neutered over 130 cats. These animals are dependent on volunteers to make a difference for the community.
Tickets for the Bag Ladies Lunch are $30 and may be purchased at the Faded Rose, located in the village of Pinehurst or Beautopia Hair Face and Body Salon in Southern Pines.
For more information, call (910) 215-0505.
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