Kitten Report

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We have another report on Jenny and Dru from Anna, a member of their foster family.

Anna says:

“Jenny and Dru are great kittens and are growing so fast. I taught them both how to go up and down stairs and they are quite good at it. They are also quite good at jumping. The kittens are sweet as can be. They are really soft and playful and love being held- for now anyways. But I think they will be lap cats when they are older. The girls are both so great, and I hope they get a great home to live in with good people who love and care about them.”

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A huge thanks to Anna and family for doing such a good job raising Jenny and Dru into the social and curious kittens they are now. If you are interested in adopting Jenny and/or Dru, please email info@southerntieranimalrescue.org or call 607- 862-6811.

The Ins and Outs of Fostering

One of the tricky things about fostering for a rescue is, well, what do you do when you have to do other things like go on vacation?
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Dean and Jasper
At STAR Network, our foster families work to help each other out. Our Vice President, Jesse, came by and picked up our two smallest kittens, Sam and Dean, as well as dear Ozzie, and will be doing foster care for them for the two weeks that I’m off getting married. This means my house sitter can manage with the smaller numbers at my home and the kittens get exposed to new and interesting places.
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Sam and Dunkin
Sam and Dean are working diligently to make sure they have been properly introduced to Dunkin the German Shepherd and Jasper the cat- the permanent residents at Jesse’s home. –Enya
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Bud

Bud is a stray cat on Binghamton’s South Side. He lives in a quiet neighborhood on a dead-end street where Enya met Elizabeth, who had called hoping to get some help.

For several years, Elizabeth has been making friends with cats left behind by their owners when the latter moved on for any number of reasons, the cats were turned out to fend for themselves. Unfixed and homeless, the cats continue to breed and cause problems. Elizabeth has been steadily making her way through the population, doing what she can to get them fixed as she is able to catch them, but she admitted that it adds up financially and gets harder to do.

Bud is trap smart, and didn’t want to be caught. He’ll sit in Elizabeth’s lap when he wants to, but normally he’s content with wandering the neighborhood and getting into trouble.

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Which is what led to the vet appointment this morning. Bud and another cat got into a dispute, ending with Bud being injured- a gash behind his ear that at first glance seemed like it would heal on its own. In between Saturday when he was injured and Monday, Bud managed to make the wound worse. By the time Enya showed up to try to figure out if there was a way STAR could help, muscle was plainly visible in the wound. It seems that Bud knew things were getting worse as he’s been sticking close to Elizabeth’s porch, and to Elizabeth herself.

Thanks to Elizabeth’s help and support, Bud was seen by the staff of Fur and Feathers Veterinary Care this morning and went into surgery this afternoon. Along with getting neutered, he received dissolvable stitches, a rabies vaccine, and antibiotics to fend off anything trying to take advantage of his already awful situation. He’ll be going back to Elizabeth for a little R&R before being returned to the outdoors where he will be happy, healthy, and much less likely to get into costly trouble.

Bud

Bud is a poster child for the necessity of Trap/Neuter/Release (TNR) programs. Fixed cats do not get into the kinds of fights that intact cats do. They become part of stable populations of a few neighborhood cats. No more kittens. No territory disputes. No trying to figure out how to get a feral to a vet without hurting yourself in the process because you don’t want to see any animal suffer.

TNR

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What is TNR? 

Trap Neuter/Spay Return is a program in which colonies of stray and/or feral cats are trapped, fixed, and returned to their original location. Cats that are caught are also vaccinated for rabies and have their ears tipped to avoid going through the process of being trapped again in the future.

Why should we look into TNR?

If you are a neighborhood dealing with a population of cats, you are probably dealing with the unwanted cat behavior as well. Intact cats not only produce kittens but yowl, fight, mate, and cause issues for everyone. Cats who are fixed become calmer and are generally more healthy than their unfixed counterparts.

Some municipalities utilize euthanization practices to cope with cat colonies, but this results in open territory and cats will migrate into the area and continue breeding, rendering the initial euthanization process useless. TNR means the cats are returned but are not able to breed.

How much does it cost me? 

The Southern Tier Animal Rescue Network can provide assistance with the medical costs of TNR efforts thanks to a wonderful partnership with Southern Tier Veterinary Associates. We do appreciate donations towards TNR efforts, as donations result inan increase in the number cats and communities we can help.

What do I need to do? 

Contact STAR Network by filling out the TNR assistance form. Our team will reach out to you to schedule a time when we can meet at the location of the colony with you and go over the schedule for the TNR process. We will need community member assistance in feeding the colony on a daily schedule in order to have the most success with the trap date and ongoing care.

How long does it take? 

This depends on several factors. If you’ve already gotten the colony on a feeding schedule it will go much faster. If the colony isn’t on a schedule, we try to give it a month of regular feeding so the cats get used to human presence. It will also depend on when we can get the date set with the vet. Traps are normally scheduled for Saturday mornings and release is on the following day after the anesthesia wears off.

Why don’t you just adopt out the cats you catch? 

Feral cats are not house pets. Their home is the outdoors and they should remain outdoors. In some cases a stray cat – one that is friendly and has previous experience being part of a home environment, referred to as an adoptable stray – can be trapped and fostered until fully socialized and adoptable. Young kittens – under 12 weeks – can usually be acclimated to humans and socialized to the point where they could be adopted. In the case of adoptable strays, STAR Network will arrange for foster homes and further medical care as we are able.

In all cases, STAR Network promotes responsible colony care. If feral or stray cats are being fed, they need to be fixed. We understand that people have big hearts and the best of intentions and we understand that most folks are unable to pay for spaying and neutering when they are on a fixed budget- and this is where we step in. If you have a neighbor or find yourself in this situation, please reach out to us.

Merry and Pippin

It has been a busy few days over here in the STAR Network!

Late last week Crimson and Cobalt were adopted together and have since been renamed Merry and Pippin by their new family.

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Pippin

They are currently sorting out their new space and getting used to their new housemates- both human and animal. But it wont be long before their affectionate personalities are back and shining as they both gain more and more confidence in their new place and people.

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Merry

Sam and Dean

The boys go to their first vet appointment this week. Over the last couple weeks they’ve been working on solid foods and becoming more kitten and less tiny, furry balls with legs bouncing around.

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They are super affectionate and have reached the curious-get-into-everything stage. We’ve caught Sam climbing the stairs and following us silently around the first floor which can be slightly
startling.
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Dean is just a fluffy little lover and really enjoys sleeping in terribly awkward positions. He also can’t get enough belly rubs.
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Sam

Our Venerable Sir, named Sam by his new family, came to us when a community member called, concerned about his being outside and looking frail. We took him in, got him vetted, and started to work on getting his weight up with the knowledge he had a family to go to if all went well.
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In the last two weeks he’s gained about a half a pound on kitten food and had two vet appointments to get up to date on his shots, as well as undergo a very thorough grooming to deal with all manner of parasites. Sam was incredibly friendly in our care and as soon as he was given the all clear to mingle with the rest of our critters he proved to be extremely affectionate with everyone – other cats, big dogs, kittens, people. It honestly didn’t seem to matter to Sam who you were- as long as you were there you both might as well get some attention.
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Yesterday Sam was able to settle into his new home with the family that first contacted us. When we left Sam, he was settling into Jaimee’s office and getting used to the new space. His new family also has another adult cat, so they’ll be introducing the two of them over the course of the next week or so. We look forward to hearing how this very sweet, gentle fellow does!