The organization Frogs and Cats Together encouraged TCU students to celebrate National Feral Cat Day last Wednesday.
Cari Alexander, TCU librarian and the leader of the organization said the goal of Frogs and Cats Together is to correctly practice trap-neuter-return and colony management on campus to keep the wild feline population to a minimum.
Trap-neuter-return is the idea of trapping a feral or stray cat, spay/neuter it and returning it to the same location it was picked up, or the cat can be suitable for adoption.
“We recognize that there will be cats on campus," Alexander said. "Every campus has them. But our way is the humane solution, as well as the most cost-effective for taxpayers and staff time.”
FACT is funded through donations and grants through other local groups who assist citizens with trap-neuter-return. Alexander said the cost of spay/neuter can be high, but since the organization began in 2004 the cost has gradually diminished as they slowly stabilized on campus.
Feral Friends helps FACT with their contracted low cost vets for spay/neuter, Alexander said, they also use Texas Coalition for Animal Protection, and the Humane Society Feral Tuesday program.
Just this year, FACT has trap-neuter-returned five cats on campus and rescued one kitten. Overall, FACT has trap-neuter-returned 84 cats either on campus or surrounding the university.
Other Texas college campuses also have feral cat programs, Alexander said, including: SMU, UNT, A&M, UT, and UT-San Antonio.
FACT celebrates an annual event on National Feral Cat day, which is Oct. 17th. This national celebration was started by Alley Cat Allies in 1991 to promote trap-neuter-return and groups who are successfully practicing this in their neighborhoods, at their businesses or on their campuses.
Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. According to their website, Alley Cat Allies was the first organization to introduce and advocate for humane methods of feral cat care, particularly Trap-Neuter-Return, in the American animal protection community.
Students stopped at the educational table provided by FACT members and were informed about trap-neuter-return and how to be a responsible pet owner.
Although many students tend to miss their pets at home, Alexander said, it is important to know that adopting a pet is a great responsibility for a college student. This was also an opportunity for students to inform FACT about cats they have seen on campus that need to be rescued.
Sarah von Gillern, a junior strategic communication major, said she was thrilled that the university has an organization like Frogs and Cats Together to rescue cats on campus. Von Gillern said that going to the FACT educational table encouraged her to learn more about National Feral Cat Day.
FACT also did a raffle for a free spay/neuter from the Texas Coalition for Animal Protection as well as provided free baked goods. Local baker, Gwin Grimes with Artisan Baking Company supports FACT and donated cookies for the special day.