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Friends of Felines is a non-profit all volunteer organization whose main goal is to reduce the overpopulation of feral cats in our community. We work with dedicated caretakers through a trap/spay-neuter/vaccination and return program, to help homeless cats live happier and healthier lives.
All cats are brought in traps by their caretakers between 8:30 and 9:00 in the morning. The traps are numbered, each trap is paired with a carrier of the same number, and caretakers check in and sign a surgical consent form. The cats are then taken into the hospital where they are given an injectable anesthetic while still inside the trap.
Once asleep, each cat is tagged (same number as the trap and carrier), weighed, vaccinated for rabies and feline distemper, spayed or neutered, their left ear is "tipped" straight across, their ears are cleaned and treated for mites, and they are sprayed with Frontline and combed for fleas. The cats are then put back into his/her respective carrier to recuperate at the caretaker's home overnight. The next day they are returned to their colony.
What is a feral cat?
Feral cats are the "wild" offspring of domestic cats and are primarily the result of pet owners' abandonment or failure to spay/neuter their cats, allowing them to breed uncontrolled. Many of these kittens will never have contact with humans and will eventually become fearful of them. These feral cats band together to become colonies. For more information read the Stray Not the Same as Feral article from the Friends of Felines Newsletter .
What is TNVR (Trap/Neuter/Vaccinate/Return Program)?
This type of program began in the late 1970's in Great Britain as a humane way of dealing with feral cats. Cats that have a caretaker looking after them are trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated and returned to their colonies.
What happens at a typical clinic?
All cats are brought in traps by their caretakers between 8:30 and 9:00 in the morning. The traps are numbered, each trap is paired with a carrier of the same number, and caretakers check in and sign a surgical consent form. The cats are then taken into the hospital where they are given an injectable anesthetic while still inside the trap. Once asleep, each cat is tagged (same number as the trap and carrier), weighed, vaccinated for rabies and feline distemper, spayed or neutered, their left ear is tipped " straight across, their ears are cleaned and treated for mites, and they are sprayed with Frontline and combed for fleas. The cats are then put back into his/her respective carrier to recuperate at the caretaker's home overnight. The next morning they are returned to their colony. Top of Page
What is the cost of the program?
Although we do not charge for these services, we ask for a $35.00 donation per cat from those who can afford to pay so we can cover our cost for the spay/neuter and vaccinations. This helps us replenish our supplies. Donations are tax-deductible.
What are the requirements for acceptance?
Our criteria for acceptance of colonies for this program requires that they are feral, have food and water provided to them on a daily basis, and are compassionately accepted where they are.
How can you help Friends of Felines?
You can show your support by becoming a member, donating money or volunteering your time. It is $25.00 for a one-year membership, which will entitle you to receive our Newsletter that provides updates and information on our organization and feral cats. Membership fees and donations should be sent to: Friends of Felines P.O. Box 475 Castle Hayne, NC 28429 You can also show your support by volunteering your time at one of our clinics. It can be an amazing experience to care for animals that human hands never touch. Please call our message center 452.6721 if you are interested. Top of Page
What does Friends of Felines not do?
We do not remove cats from unwanted locations. We do not have an adoption program (as funding is not available for a shelter at this time). We do not loan traps for cats to be euthanized or taken to animal shelters (as feral cats are not adoptable). We do not relocate cats.
I am feeding a feral cat colony in New Hanover County -- How do I get help?
All requests for assistance must go though the message center number (910) 452-6721 or our email address /about.html . We do not have an office. Messages are checked every other weekend by a VOLUNTEER. As we are NOT an emergency response organization, your request may not be answered the same day. We do have a waiting list, so please be patient. A volunteer will be in touch and get some basic information from you. Once your colony is accepted into our program, you will be contacted as soon as we have an appointment available. You will need to pick up your traps and carriers from a volunteer at a time to be determined prior to your scheduled clinic. It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you come to these appointments when you are scheduled. At this time you will also be required to sign a trap and release form and caretaker agreement. You will need to trap your cats the night before the clinic (humane trapping instructions) and transport them at the designated time. We will require a signature for surgical consent and a phone number where you can be reached for the next 4 hours. Once your cats are finished we will call you to come and pick them up. They will be in a recovery carrier (which SHOULD NOT be opened under any circumstances) and you will be given instructions for post-operative care . All cats are to remain in their carriers overnight in a warm dry area and returned to their colony the following morning.
It involves much more than spaying and neutering. It takes organization, teamwork and a dedicated group of volunteers.
JoE. Needham - President
Rickie Miller - Vice President
Audrey Mizrahi - Treasurer
Babara Blandine - Secretary
Susan Baehmann - Corresponding Secretary
Mandy Weber - Board Member
Nancy Lent - Board Member
Patricia Roseman - Board Member
Robin Coles - Board Member
Sharon Harmon - Board Member
Port City Animal Hospital Veterinarians: Chris Coble, Don Kettlecamp and Danielle Moore
Capeside Animal Hospital Veterinarians: Sheila Hanby, Christine Carmine and Nicole Rubendall
Needham Animal Hospital Veterinarians: Chris Batts, Heather Jones and Stephanie Crow
Cape Fear Spay/Neuter Clinic Veterinarian: Audrey Mizrahi
Atlantic Animal Hospital Veterinarians: Michele Rohrer, Laurie Parish, Karessa Schaffer and Kara Duffy
Pleasure Island Animal Hospital Veterinarian: Ked Cottrell
Fix a Friend Spay Neuter Clinic Veterinarian: Amy Eutsey