What is Buddy's Feral Cat Day?
Every 3rd Sunday of the month Ashton Animal Clinic used to hold a large spays and neuter program for feral cats for free. Local veterinarians, veterinary technicians and volunteers would donate their time and talent to this very effective trap-neuter-return program.
Solely in the year 2002, we spayed and neutered 13,000 cats!
Due to the community stepping up and other agencies offering a similar program we now do not hold it once a month.
Good news though. We still offer a free spay/neuter program for the community on Monday and Fridays. This is by appointment only. The cats are dropped off at Ashton Animal Clinic in the morning on those days before 9 and are returned to the trappers after noon.
Feral Cat traps are now available at Ashton Animal Clinic! They are available for rent by the public in need of traps! There is a form to fill out at Ashton to rent the traps. Please call us at (941) 927-2700 with any questions. Please note that reservations over 5 cats will still need to be made for Buddy's Feral Cat Day with Priscilla at (941) 342-1575 even if you are using traps from Ashton.
How Does the Program Work?
This FREE program occurs on Monday and Fridays. It is for feral and Free Roaming cats ONLY, and you MUST make a reservation in advance by contacting Priscilla Savage at: [email protected] or 941-342-1575. If you have less than 5 cats that you would like to have fixed you can also call Ashton Animal Clinic directly. Pls. include name, contact #, and number of cats being trapped. If unable to keep reservations, please contact us promptly.
IMPORTANT: CATS MUST BE TRANSPORTED HUMANELY IN AN ENCLOSED TEMPERATURE CONTROLLED VEHICLE. CATS CANNOT BE PLACED IN A TRUNK, OPEN PICKUP TRUCK OR A CAMPER TOP VEHICLE WITHOUT VENTILATION.
Each cat must arrive in a cat trap; only ONE cat per trap. Cats in carriers or cages will not be accepted. * IMPORTANT: If you trap more than one cat in a trap, do not open the trap! Bring an extra trap so cats can be separated after surgery.
Kittens over 3 months of age and weighing over 2 lbs. can be brought to the clinic.
St. Francis Animal Rescue Venice : 941-492-6200 (reservations needed)
Cat Depot: 2542 17t St. Sarasota: 941-366-2404 (first come basis, rent with cr.card)
Animal Rescue Coalition(ARC) : 1408 State Street Sarasota: 941-957-1955 (same)
Sarasota County Animal Services: 8451 Bee Ridge Rd. 941-861-9500 ($80 cash deposit/refundable)
Once cat is in a trap, keep trap COVERED at all times. This will prevent unnecessary stress and injury to the cat. Put name or initials on towel or sheet if wanting returned.
After trapping cats, NO food or water after midnight Saturday night. If using food to lure cats into trap, only 1-2 tablespoons is needed. Canned cat food, chicken, or fish (sardines) produce the best results. Do not open traps to remove any leftover food.
Make sure all latches are security fastened on the back of the trap door before transport.
Check-in between 7:00-9:00AM: Please be prompt, and advise if a cat is sick, nursing or pregnant.
Each cat will receive the following services:
• SPAY-NEUTER of a feral/free roaming cat (pain meds)
• Vaccination for rabies & distemper
• Ear cleaning and mite treatment
• Treatment for internal/external parasites
• A left ear “tip” which is a nationally accepted standard that identifies a feral cat has been sterilized & rabies vaccinated.
NO EXCEPTIONS MADE FOR EAR TIPPING.
What is a Feral Cat?
Almost every community has feral cats are un-socialized cats who may be one or more generations removed from a home environment and who may subsist in a colony of similar cats living on the fringes of human existence. Feral cats live wherever they can scavenge for food - near dumpsters, behind businesses, in city parks and perhaps even in your own backyard.
Despite outward appearances, generations of domestication have left these felines without many of the natural adaptations necessary for life outside. They do not "regain their instincts" and they do not thrive.
Feral cats often band together in colonies and continue breeding. Over time they become more wary of people and teach their kittens to avoid humans. Starvation, disease, trauma and stresses of continual reproduction plague their lives.
An estimated 55,000 feral cats live in Sarasota County!!
Cats average two litters per year and kittens as young as five months of age can reproduce.
The reproduction rate is staggering:
- An unaltered female cat and her offspring can potentially produce 420,000 kittens in seven years.
- If a feral cat in Sarasota County produced only one tenth of its potential by the year 2020, there would be an additional 42,000 cats living in our county.
How to Get Involved
- Help spread the word about Buddy's Feral Cat Program and it's participating organizations.
- Keep your cats indoors.
- Spay or neuter your companion pets and encourage friends and family to do the same.
- Become a volunteer
- Make a contribution to Buddy's Feral Cat Program and help us reach more of society's forgotten cats.