No feral cat asked to be a feral cat; they exist because of a mistake a human made in not getting a pet spayed or neutered and then either losing it, abandoning it, or letting it outdoors where it started a feral colony. It would be unethical to have a feral cat pay with its life for a human’s mistake. TNR (trap-neuter-return) is an ethical solution to the problem of multiplying feral cats.
TNR is an animal rescue strategy that humanely solves the problem of feral cats breeding and perpetuating the cycle of miserable, hungry, short lives in the wild. Feral cats that have been TNR’d get to live out the rest of their lives without the hormonal issues of fighting, spraying, and roaming, without struggling to raise sickly, hungry kittens, and most importantly without making more of themselves. The idea is that TNR stabilizes the size of the colony, and then attrition naturally reduces its size over the years until all of the cats have passed away.
We socialize and look after kittens that are brought in from the wild so that they can have a better life. Feral kittens left in the wild, unfixed and unfed, survive on average only 2-3 years. Feral colonies located in the Cowichan Valley do not simply die off if they are ignored. Yes, there is a great deal of death, particularly with the kittens, but the colony survives just enough to perpetuate the cycle of suffering. This bothers us. It bothers us enough that we are willing to work to make a better solution.
We think it is wonderful when responsible people adopt adult or senior cats from shelters. This gives an animal a home and helps to reduce overcrowding at shelters. We understand that there is a demand for kittens to be domestic pets. We know first-hand that there are many feral kittens rescued from the wild. Those kittens can be cared for and socialized into healthy, affectionate little companions, and be adopted out to loving forever homes who want the joy and the responsibility of caring for them. We think it is wonderful when responsible people adopt rescue kittens, such as those from our Foster Care Program. Such kittens are already here; they already exist; and so we are delighted to be able to connect them to families who want them.
There is a demand for barn cats as well, particularly from people who want environmentally friendly rodent control for their acreage, farm, vineyard, or warehouse. We do not want people deliberately creating kittens to carry out barn duties. We are happy to connect sterilized, vaccinated, adult feral cats to suitable barn homes that want them.