Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Volunteering for WHS

This month I accomplished something I have wanted to do for quite some time; volunteer at the Washington Humane Society’s Cat NeighborhoodPartnership Program (CatNiPP) monthly spay/neuter clinic.  This WHS program provides care for the thousands of stray and abandoned cats in our community.  Known as feral because they are not socialized to humans and unable to be adopted into a home, these cats separate themselves into groups called a colony.  Volunteer caregivers provide food, water and shelter for these often forgotten animals. 

The caregivers humanely trap the cats and bring them into the National Capital Area Spay and Neuter Center one Sunday a month.  The cats are sterilized under anesthesia by volunteer veterinarians then vaccinated and treated for fleas.  Additionally each cat’s left ear is tipped which is an indication that this cat is part of a colony and has been spayed or neutered.  Once the cats have recovered fully they are released back into their same colony.

CatNiPP is a critical program to humanely reduce the population of feral cats by spaying and neutering them so they cannot reproduce and make more feral cats.  Even with these efforts there are still too many kittens being born but these tiny helpless babies are not left out to fend for themselves and repeat the cycle.  CatNiPP will collect them and care for them until they are old enough to be adopted into indoor homes with a family that will love them. 

This month we treated about thirty cats, although I hear that by the end of last year they were helping around seventy each month.  I learned a new surgical technique for cat spays which was exciting for me and I got to make things a little better for a few kitties who have a pretty tough life.  I am already looking forward to next month’s clinic.  For more information please visit CatNiPP’s website

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