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March 2010

March 26, 2010
Subject: Meet Slick

Hi. Slick is a young male cat who has been living around the Raba Building for some time. We tried trapping him there but were not successful. Joe, our night supervisor, noticed that Slick dines late at the Blume feeding station and set up a trap; thus Slick became our 262nd customer. He was neutered, vaccinated, ear-tipped, and microchipped at Blue Cross Pet Clinic. After Slick's return to campus, he headed back to the Raba Building.
Below is a link to an article about the Helotes Humane Society, a local animal rescue group. These folks have been great friends to For Paws, allowing us to participate in adoption events under their liability insurance policy. (Doing good is complicated.) Once again, we see that a small group of dedicated people can make a difference.

   Helotes Humane Society celebrates two-year mark

And we will be having our traditional Fiesta button fundraiser soon. The beribboned buttons will feature ten campus cats. Thanks for your support.
For Paws Cat Wrangler

March 24, 2010
Subject: Neighborhhood Outreach

There's a huge problem with cats on a street near campus. There are 20-30 unsterilized, untamed cats concentrated in several yards. Different residents feed the cats but can't fix them; they can't afford the vet expenses, don't know about spay/neuter, can't trap the cats, etc.
This deplorable situation didn't develop overnight. Long-term ignorance, economic downturns, and apathy have led to this sad state of affairs. And the situation will only get worse and spread; certainly having a kitten factory across the street will impact our campus. (Did you know that one female cat can get pregnant three times a year, having one to six kittens per litter?)
For Paws is taking a proactive approach to this neighborhood problem. We've already trapped six cats, including four females. We'll tackle this problem one cat at a time and at least reduce the birth rate. It's going to take awhile and cost a lot--the vet bill for the first six cats was $442.00.
This project is hands-on neighborhood revitalization and surely improves the quality of life for our human and feline neighbors. We'll keep you posted on our progress. Thanks for your support.
For Paws Cat Wrangler

March 23, 2010
Subject: Random News

Hello. Just in time for spring, we have a new shipment of For Paws t-shirts with the distinctive Br. Cletus logo. Our new pastel colors are sized for women. (Guys, we have ash, green, and cream colors for you.) Shirts are available for $12.00 in the Blume Library.
Another way you can support For Paws is to sign up for iGive. Over 700 merchants (including Amazon, Best Buy, etc.) participate in this program. So far, we've received iGive checks for $387.00. Please sign up today, and let your online shopping benefit our cats.
More good news: We got a $500.00 check from the Humane Society of San Antonio as part of the city's voucher program to reimburse spays and neuters performed during February. We received $25 for a maximum of 20 cats out of the 36 we fixed that month.
Finally, a glimpse into the campus cat program at the University of Hawaii (Manoa): The amount of food provided should be gauged so that it is enough to feed the cats, with minimal food left over to attract other animals (i.e. stray dogs, rats, mongoose)
And here I am, complaining about possums! Thanks for your support.
For Paws Possum Wrangler

March 11, 2010
Subject: Cien Update

Hello. Cien is back in action (mooching at the picnic tables and sleeping the rest of the time). Thanks to all of you who donated money, came to visit him, and sent get-well wishes. Generous folks gave $378.00 toward Cien's $327.00 vet expenses. The extra money goes into our general operating fund. Thanks again to everyone who helped out.
The stray dog issue is an epidemic. A recent news report stated that over 71,000 stray animal calls (mostly dogs) were recorded last fiscal year. We do the best we can to protect the campus cats and to provide them with good lives while they're with us. However, this is an open campus, and any four-legged (or two-legged) creature can get in. Be alert! Thanks for your support.
For Paws Cat Wrangler

March 7, 2010
Subject: Cien's Close Call

Hello. Saturday two dogs on campus attacked Cien. Fortunately, Liza Sanchez (Academic Media Center) scared the dog who had all 13.45 pounds of Cien in his jaws. Although he was bleeding from his wounds and probably in shock from the trauma, Cien was able to climb a tree where he stayed for three hours!
Liza contacted Dirk Rogers (Physical Plant) who brought a ladder, some heavy gloves, and retrieved our cat. (This isn't the first time Dirk has risked injury to himself to rescue an injured cat.) Joe Lucio got Cien into a carrier, and I took him to the Animal Emergency Room (Blue Cross Clinic was closed.)
Four hours and $327.00 later, Cien came back to campus. He has a number of bite wounds and one puncture wound into his abdomen. X-rays did not show any internal bleeding. Infection is a danger, so Cien received a powerful antibiotic, along with pain meds. He is very sore and subdued but is recuperating indoors so we can monitor the puncture wound.
A year ago to the day, a vicious dog killed Lemon Drop, then Babe, then Patches. I hope this isn't the beginning of another killing season. Please be vigilant for the cats and for your own safety. And remember: on our campus, the St. Mary's police DON'T handle dog issues—that's a job for the grounds crew. Thanks for your support. And a huge thank you to Liza, Dirk, and Joe for their actions to save Cien's life.
For Paws Cat Wrangler

March 2, 2010
Subject: Community Cats (Neighborhood Project Update)

Hello. We've completed the neighborhood project: 32 cats (17 females, 15 males) spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and ear-tipped. The total cost was $1939, about $60.60 per cat which is actually rather inexpensive. And no, we're not broke yet, but donations are always cheerfully accepted!
For a long time, people have been ignorant or apathetic about the outdoor cat population--which is how we got into this mess. Now, unrestricted breeding by outdoor cats (stray or owned) is increasingly seen as a community issue that calls for a community solution. The legalization of Trap-Neuter-Return in San Antonio reflects this new thinking.
The San Antonio Feral Cat Coalitionis a major impetus for the proliferation of local TNR programs. These dedicated volunteers offer four free TNR workshops a month and train 800 trappers a year. Workshop participants qualify for $10 cat surgeries at SpaySA—subsidized by grants procured by SAFCC.
So now we're seeing six neighbors working together to sterilize 48 cats on their block; volunteers trapping 18 cats (in four hours) at a business on Callaghan and Fredericksburg; a small group “fixing” their way through a whole subdivision, one block at a time. Our recent neighborhood project is one of many efforts to provide a community solution (TNR) to a community problem (unsterilized outdoor cats).
Thanks for your support of our efforts to make a difference in the community around us.
For Paws Cat Wrangler
The Humane Society of the United States believes that feral cat overpopulation is a community-generated problem and that every community has a responsibility to work toward a solution.

Comments? Email Caroline Byrd or call Caroline at 436-3430, ext.1317.

For Paws