The Humane Society of the United States provided much-needed help for a ranch owner in Chappell, Nebraska, whose property was used by neighboring communities to dump unwanted cats. This week, staff and volunteers, including the Colorado Animal Welfare League, helped spay/neuter the majority of the 150 free-roaming cats living on the ranch, and transported multiple kittens and nursing mothers to organizations where they will have a chance to find permanent homes.
The cats were well-fed, but the ranch owner reached out for help after realizing that she could not keep up with some of the animals’ basic needs, like sterilization and routine veterinary care. Four horses and four dogs also share the property.
Representatives from the Humane Society of the United States worked in partnership with the Nebraska Rescue Council to create a coalition of animal welfare professionals to address the needs and handle, transport and shelter the cats. A three-day clinic was set up at the ranch, with veterinarians Dr. Shannon Jensen of Grant, Nebraska, and Dr. Kenneth Cook of Sidney, Nebraska, working to spay, neuter, and vaccinate 100 cats. Volunteers from Joining Forces Saving Lives and Fur the Love of Paws assisted by trapping the cats and returning them to the property after sterilization. Of the cats trapped, 15 kittens and nursing mothers needed to be transported to affiliate rescues and shelters for rehabilitation and adoption, while the rest were able to be re-released, demonstrating the success of this Trap-Neuter-Return project.
“We are pleased that the caretaker of these cats reached out for help. Many of these cats, having been dumped on her property, had likely never been handled and required veterinary attention,” said Jocelyn Nickerson, Nebraska state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We are grateful for the local rescue and shelter groups working to support the efforts to improve this situation and help this initiative for the animals.”
“We are often called upon to assist with cat colony projects in rural communities and are happy to work collaboratively to save these animals,” said Melissa Money-Beecher, NRC Member and executive director of Joining Forces Saving Lives in Lincoln. “The cats arrived in good condition and will be placed up for adoption once a full veterinary evaluation is complete.”
“We bring these clinics to rural towns where pet overpopulation is rampant due to lack of low cost spay/neuter services. And, this is, by far, one of the largest Trap-Neuter-Return projects we have assisted with to date,” said Lisa Petri, president of the Colorado Animal Welfare League. Petri drove the CAWL’s new SNOW (Spay/Neuter on Wheels) mobile directly to the site for the three-day clinic.