We have all seen these cats around the City and know that over the years they have multiplied and multiplied and what can be done? The alarming fact is, and as extremely hard as this is to believe, but nevertheless true, a mating pair within just four years has the potential of being responsible for over 400,000 cats!!! Sunny Isles Beach of course is not alone, all the way along the coast, cities are experiencing over population due initially to cats being brought in to Miami Beach to control the rat population as far back as 1912. Also, since they are such prolific breeders, especially in our beautiful climate, they have litter after litter, sometimes up to eight kittens every four months, and it is not uncommon for a mother cat to have to push away the last litter, so that the new litter can nurse from her. Meanwhile the next month will see the four month old kittens mating and giving birth, along with the mother cat again. This is why we need your assistance to break the cycle and help control the overpopulation explosion.
The community cats are being fed in many areas, both designated and not, by well meaning people and this is great, but much more important is the sterilization and vaccination of these cats, so that they can live out their lives, living outdoors content and healthy, but without reproducing. These cats were born outside and unless socialized by humans in the first 16 weeks of their lives, generally don’t adapt too well to indoor life, and are therefore not great candidates for adoption. Of course the exceptions are the poor abandoned animals whose heartless owners moved away and left them. They will be more than happy to come back inside and will make “purrfect” pets, once they have readjusted to their loving new home environment. There are many beautiful, domesticated cats that are obviously the products of cruel abandonment, and again Sunny Isles Beach is not alone here, it is a very sad fact in most communities throughout the country.
For many years Sunny Isles Beach has blazed the trail of Trapping, Neutering and Returning (TNR) since it is THE only proven method of controlling the cat population, by holding Spayathons, where large numbers of cats were trapped by volunteers and sterilized in one day by mobile units brought into the city for this purpose, and also by providing certificates to enable the community cats to be sterilized by local vets. However, this takes time and effort and we are looking for dedicated volunteers that we can train to do some, or all of this invaluable task. There are literally hundreds of cats out there and only three residents that actively trap cats, the rest are volunteers that come into the City to help out, but every one of those volunteers is so busy that we are now asking residents to step up to the plate, after all it is your City.
A new year is just around the corner, why not make it your New Year’s Resolution to be part of the solution. We will be looking for residents that can perform one or more tasks involved in this ambitious campaign to stop this overpopulation situation:
• Keeping feeding stations clean and tidy
• Learning how to trap
• Transporting to vet and/or collecting from vet
• Caring for sterilized cat over night (it will be in a trap or carrier) and a little longer for an aborted cat
• Or perhaps you have time on your hands, but don’t want the permanent commitment of a full time pet, but would like to socialize kittens for a few weeks in your home so that they are friendly and more easily adoptable
• Asking friends, family, work colleagues etc., if they would like to be a proud, loving owner of a SIB cat
There are so many ways to be a part of this great program, so please contact us and we’ll all meet early in the New Year to discuss what valuable role YOU are going to play.