You could call it a typical evening on Miami Beach, but it is anything of the sort. For a rather determined group of volunteers who are dedicated to helping the homeless feline population of Miami Beach an evening out doesn’t mean hitting the hottest beach clubs, but rather spending several hours performing rescue operations. They call themselves the TNR team or Trap, Neuter and Rescue.
Volunteers humanely trap and neuter stray and feral cats for vaccination which reduces the population of cats and doesn’t allow any new litters to be born. For several years, Miami Beach Police officer and animal lover Mariana Garcia has been spearheading efforts to raise awareness for the need to control the stray cat population on Miami Beach and to rescue those animals in need of care.
“This is a win-win for the cats,” explains Garcia. “There will be fewer of them and over time the track, neuter and return program reduces the population naturally. No new litters will be born and that means no new animals.” Garcia says similar programs have been used in other cities and have proven effective.
With funding from a more than $96,000 dollar grant secured through the national program, PetSmart charities, and support from the Cat Network, Officer Garcia, along with half a dozen regular volunteers are putting a dent in the stray cat population. Garcia says so far, TNR has rounded-up nearly 22-hundred cats and sterilized them. She estimates that in three to five years the community will see a noticeable reduction in the stray and feral cat population of Miami Beach.
If you are an animal lover and would like the puurrffect chance to volunteer, members of the TNR say they can always use extra help and resources. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org at The Cat Network or contact email@example.com. You can also call 305.673.7080 for more details.