Reason 5,999,999 To Get Active In Trap-Neuter-Return

On Thursday, August 21, ECC volunteers were returning vaccinated and sterilized cats and kittens to their home territory in a small front yard in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Everything seemed fairly routine: the cats were thrilled to be back in a familiar setting, the caretaker was glad to see the cats were home unharmed, and the reduced number of breeding cats in the neighborhood would inevitably trickle down to mean less homeless companion animals and less cats killed at Animal Care & Control.

ECC volunteers decided they would check out another colony of feral cats that they had heard about, only a block away. While we didn’t see cats immediately, we did see a few cats eventually and made plans to return to start working at Trap-Neuter-Returning the cats in that colony. As we were leaving the community garden, a little kitten caught our eye. As we approached her, we were surprised when she didn’t move. We quickly realized that the kitten we would soon name Hodgepodge was exceptionally sick and possibly blinded by infection. She was so congested and starving that she looked like she was moments from dying.

We quickly scooped her up and got her the assistance she desperately needed: warm compresses to open her infected eyes, antibiotic ointment and a systemic antibiotic to help with the raging upper respiratory infection, fluids, and some kitten formula for some much needed nourishment. While she might not win the fight against her illness, we are hopeful that we can salvage this little kitten and find her a loving home eventually.

Regardless, Hodgepodge was yesterday’s reminder of the importance of spaying and neutering, especially Trap-Neuter-Return work for feral cats. If the Department of Health’s Animal Care & Control would engage in Trap-Neuter-Return (rather then enabling and participating in the antiquated capture and kill mentality of feral cat “control”) and more members of the public would join our efforts, there would be far fewer victims like Hodgepodge, and far less unnecessary suffering and premature death for cats in New York City.

Hodgepodge is just one of the many reminders why more resources need to be targeted towards spaying and neutering feral, stray and free-roaming cats.



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4 responses to “Reason 5,999,999 To Get Active In Trap-Neuter-Return

  1. teresa

    How is Hodgepodge doing? Does she need any special care or meds?

  2. emptycagescollective

    teresa – Thank you for asking 🙂 Hodgepodge is getting oral antibiotics and two different eye medications. She was only eating from a syringe, but has finally started eating on her own. Her eyes are slowly improving and she can see light and shadows. We’ll get some new photos of her this weekend!

  3. It is such a sad story but I hope and pray with a happy ending at least for Hodgepodge, if not for all the other cats and kittens out there. The work you are doing is really wonderful. I hope that the Department of Health animal care and control come to realise that your way is alot better than theres. Please give Hodgepodge a huge kiss and cuddle for me xxxx

  4. Poor Hodgepodge! I really hope there’s a happy ending for her.

    If anyone out there is thinking of setting up a TNR programme but doesn’t know where to start, please do check out this link:

    Although focussed on dogs, the template offered by two UK charities based on their experiences can be adapted for any organisation. The charities are not funding or running programmes but offering their advice and experience freely so that anyone with the passion and dedication to help solve the problem humanely has as much information at their fingertips as possible.

    Here’s to more municipalities understanding that the only solution is long term prevention through TNR.

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