2012 Trap Neuter Return Workshop Wrap Up
This past Sunday 6/24/12, we held our second ever TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) Workshop. While our first was held in May 2011 in Van Nuys with 70 attendees, this year we were thrilled to have 140 registrations at our location at the beautiful Rio Hondo Event Center in Downey.
Our speakers (Bryan Kortis of PetSmart Charities, Karn Myers and Liz Cava of FixNation, Christi Metropole from Stray Cat Alliance, Dona Cosgrove-Baker and Lauren Laster from Feral Cat Caretakers, Ben Lehrer from Kitten Rescue as well as two of our own staffers) ignited the crowd with their knowledge and experience. They shared great data on targeted TNR, legal implications of TNR in Los Angeles, kitten foster and socialization best practices, tips and tricks on how to trap the community cats, where to take them for sterilization and how to maintain the colony while keeping them safe, and secure.
With attendees from San Diego, Orange County, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, the San Fernando Valley and points north, we were amazed at the turn out. So many people start this work because of a sense of compassion for the animals. They often work at night, and as such, the caretakers sometimes get a sense that they work alone so it is especially exciting to see that there are SO MANY other people who care and who are doing everything that they can to care for these homeless cats.
Each of the 140 people received a certificate of completion, a Neighborhood Cats TNR Handbook, a free feral spay or neuter from SPAY4LA or SNP LA and a free Tomahawk trap for their use as well as breakfast, lunch and a full day’s instruction.
Some highlights included:
- Lauren Laster’s entreaty for everyone to not become overwhelmed with the numbers of cats euthanized but for each of us to build just one backyard cat shelter because each shelter is one more than was there before
- Ben Lehrer’s list of cat socialization myths (hint: using a “friendly” cat you own doesn’t work!)
- Liz Cava’s unwavering belief that feral cats need to be treated humanely and with the same dignity as owned cats
- Bryan Kortis adamantly entreating registered nonprofits to go ahead and apply for a grant—the money is there and PetSmart Charities wants to donate it to make a difference for community cats
- Karn Myers’ depiction of a typical day at FixNation that exhausted us just hearing about it!
- Dona Cosgrove Baker’s resilience and dedication to the cats and her unwavering belief that we can each make a difference for the community cats of America
On behalf of everyone at the Foundation, we would like to thank all of our amazing presenters and our dedicated attendees and volunteers who learned so much from this day of open minds and open hearts.