MEOW Now! Summer 2022 Update
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
I hope this finds you well! Summer is here and so are the kittens! I know I say this every year, but rarely a day goes by without someone calling and asking for assistance because their free-roaming cat just birthed a litter of kittens. Of course, the whole concept of TNVR is to get to the cat before the litter shows up. Spay/neuter is the only way we are going to slow overpopulation. Unless the vast majority of our community understands, accepts, and acts on that fact, we will continue to face an uphill battle.
I want to share with you the latest numbers on TNVR. Thus far this year - as of the first day of summer - we have put 836 cats through our program. Additionally, we have placed 136 kittens who were too small or too sick to go through spay/neuter surgery in foster care, where they are nursed to health, socialized, sterilized, vaccinated, and then go to forever homes. I say it often, any cat who is lucky enough to find their way into one of our traps is lucky indeed - but the exceptionally lucky ones are the kittens who end up living as indoor companion animals with loving families. Maybe someday there will no longer be cats living on the streets – the way to get there is to continue an aggressive TNVR program.
Your organization has hit a milestone that all of us should be proud of. On May 21, 2022, cat #10,000 went through our program. This lucky cat was a young female who is now no-longer reproducing. When we think about this achievement it really brings into focus the question of, “What if MEOW Now was not around for all these years?” Interesting question and we can never really know - but think of this scenario from North Shore Animal League America: one fertile female and her intact mate, along with their offspring, producing two litters per year, with 2.8 surviving kittens per litter, will result in 2,072,514 additional cats in eight years. Remember, that starts with just one non-spayed female and her mate. Two cats generating over 2 million additional cats! If we used the same calculation regarding 10,000 cats going through our program, that would mean your organization prevented an additional 40 million+ cats from being born in Pinellas County. Pretty staggering.
Our task may be overwhelming, but we know that every cat that ends up in one of our traps is making a difference and the statistics above support that. Since we began MEOW Now, we have trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated and returned 10,141cats. 1,006 kittens are not able to reproduce, thanks to our foster and adoption program. The impact of MEOW Now on Pinellas County is significant!
In addition to our volunteers, donors, caregivers, and supporters, I want to again thank our partners who work closely with us providing low-cost surgeries. Big thank you to Friends of Strays, Humane Society of Pinellas, Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Pet Pal Vet Clinic, Operation SNIP and Harmony Vet Care.
We continue to need more volunteer help in order to trap every weekend and reach all the cats on the list. Trapping in the summer means enduring the heat, but the warmest weather is when cats are having litter after litter. Please pass the word that we need volunteers to help in the field. The most dedicated trappers we currently have would welcome the teammates! Here’s our volunteer application.
In my spring update, I noted the impact inflation was having on MEOW Now and all of us. Inflation is at a 50-year high and challenges consumers as well as businesses. We see it every time we gas up our vehicles. For the first time in our nation’s history, the cost for a gallon of gas is averaging $5.02 a gallon and it will likely continue to go higher. What was once $40 to fill up our transport van is now $80. Inflation is also creating additional expense for everyday supplies we use to care for the cats.
Inflation is also impacting our donations. Many of us are being forced to cut back in order to stay on budget or just to make ends meet. We understand this and deeply appreciate everyone who is still able to help support our work. MEOW Now will continue, to the best of our ability and available resources, to help free-roaming cats and their caregivers in our county.
Thank you for all you do! On behalf of my fellow board members, Cathy Unruh and Marilyn Weaver, and employees, Chad and Nikola, be safe and may God bless you.
President, Board of Directors