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Help them find a new home

Monday, February 03, 2014   by: SooToday.com Staff
NEWS RELEASE
 
THE ANIMAL ASSISTANCE GROUP
 
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The Animal Assistance Group (TAAG) has been working for more than 25 years with the same mandate; to help curb the overpopulation of pets in Sault Ste. Marie, by helping low-income families to have their pets spayed and neutered.  
 
They also have spayed and neutered many animals that were surrendered to them or were taken in because they were homeless.
 
Their policy is no-kill unless the animal in question is extremely injured or very ill.

TAAG is a non-profit organization which operates entirely on donations, the support of many local businesses, veterinarians, fundraising, and several dedicated, hard working volunteers.

In March, the building where the shelter for TAAG currently operates is being sold and TAAG is looking for another location to be used as a shelter and a place to keep several cats until they find their forever homes.

If anyone has information about a building where TAAG could operate from, please contact Cheryl Alberta at 705-575-7030 or 705-975-0007 (cell).

In the past year alone, TAAG has adopted out 230 cats and kittens.  

They spent $17,108 on helping low income families with spaying and neutering and $24,892 for the spaying/ neutering, medical expenses, and food for all of the cats in their care.

In 2013 TAAG ramped up their Trap, Neuter and Release program.

They have put out 22 feeding stations throughout the city where feral cats can come to eat, drink and find shelter from the cold weather.    

At these locations there are feral cats (TAAG President Cheryl Alberta says there are many feral colonies).

TAAG will set out to capture them, have them fixed and then be returned to where they live, outside.  

In the case of female cats, some may be pregnant or have given birth, these cats will be caught, allowed to nurse their babies, and then will be spayed before being released.  

TAAG volunteers will then foster and work with the kittens so that they can be socialized and eventually adopted out to loving homes.

Sometimes a cat is just homeless and can be re-socialized and placed back to a permanent loving home, which is the case in a few cats they have trapped recently.

Feral cats do not make good pets.  

They are used to living outside and are like other wild animals in that they are not and cannot be domesticated.  

TAAG always promotes the importance of spaying and neutering your pets.  

One female cat, allowed to breed, can in the end be responsible for thousands of kittens over her lifetime when you take into account that every kitten she has, will itself go on to breed and the cycle doesn't end.

No one likes to hear about animals being euthanized, but the sad fact is that thousands of good animals are put down every year just because there are too many to find homes for.

TAAG would like to thank all of those people who have generously donated to their cause, and hope that people will continue to donate so that the good work that The Animal Assistance Group has achieved, can continue.

Please watch for upcoming fundraisers, and participate if you are able.

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Comments
13
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Stevie-E 2/3/2014 11:14:41 AM Report

I am sure some crazy cat lady will take all of them to add to her collection.
old-cat33 2/3/2014 11:43:06 AM Report

Hey Hey,cat's make good stress relivers.
shining sun 2/3/2014 12:00:52 PM Report

feral cats can be trained to be household pets, my sister and her man has 3 feral cats living in her house alongside her two Siamese. she also has feral cats in her backyard, she shelters them and feeds them, and has spayed and neutered them.
Slim Shady 2/3/2014 12:00:59 PM Report

“…TAAG will set out to capture them, have them fixed and then be returned to where they live, outside…”

It is great to see TAAG doing good work however, I don't agree with trapping and releasing feral cats back into an environment that they didn’t belong in the first place. As sad as it is, sometimes animals have to be euthanized. These feral cats decimate the song bird population and other wildlife. They put undue stress on an ecosystem that never had to deal with them. Pets are a responsibility and people should be committed to the health, care and well being that pet, otherwise don’t get one! Feral cats are the by-product of irresponsible people who don’t spay/neuter their pets and/or can’t care for them and release them into the wild. Cruelty to animals is the lowest form of society.
Coolmummer1 2/3/2014 1:38:42 PM Report

Irresponsible pet owners account for a good deal of them - know several personally myself. They have money to eat out, get coffees but none to get their pet spayed/neutered (or even put in a small amount with subsidized assistance). These animals are lucky to be turned into the Humane Society. Most of the time they're let loose or, worse yet, dumped in unknown forest areas. Kittens are cute and are kept - until they become adults and spray or go into heat. Then it's out the door. TAG participants and the Humane Society staff are wonderful, caring people. But we need stricter penalty laws for those not spaying/neutering their pets ... and a way to enforce it!
Frio 2/3/2014 2:15:31 PM Report

I agree with Slim Shady.Why are these feral cats being put back out to kill off songbirds, baby waterfowl, chipmunks, squirrels and other small wildlife around the city? Who wants cats digging up their gardens and flower beds to bury their crap? Who said feral cats should allowed a free pass to run wild doing whatever damage they want?
dust2 2/3/2014 4:32:05 PM Report

yeah that's stupid, why re-release the cats? dumb.
Tag33&1/3rd 2/3/2014 6:48:16 PM Report

@Gurpy

Adopt a few! :)
SooPets 2/3/2014 7:10:52 PM Report

Feral cats are shy and wild, just as their ancestors. You won't see them during the day but they can be captured, given shots, spayed and neutered so they can be released back to their habitat to live in their natural environment but without the ability to reproduce, thereby dying off naturally. Nature has a job for all its creatures, the job for feral cats is hunting vermin, bugs, and rats. Feral cats were used long ago on ships sailing the ocean to eliminate rats which carried the plague disease. It is not appropriate for people to take it upon themselves to euthanize them just as you would not go into the woods and euthanize foxes, wolves, rabbits, or any other creature. People do not have the right to euthanize creatures in this way, deciding who or what lives or dies. You people with narrow minds should think before you speak.
JoyD 2/3/2014 7:52:51 PM Report

Well said SooPets. I totally agree. Taking in the adult ferals and caging them is not an option. Caging a wild animal is cruel.
Turning Point 2/3/2014 7:55:50 PM Report

Cats do kill birds and rodents but if you leave feral cats alone and do not try to neuter and return them, they will mate and you will end up with a lot more cats to hunt for food. Think about it. Is it not better to Trap, Neuter and Return and thus reduce the cat population or bury your head in the sand, ignore them and let them reproduce with no controls? We also need much stronger by-laws and enforcement against owners that do not spay and neuter their cats and that let them wander outdoors.
dandrew61 2/3/2014 11:50:25 PM Report

By definition a feral animal is not a native, but an introduced species. We have three types of naturally occurring cats in Ontario, Bobcat, Lynx, and Cougar. The house cat is not natural to this area. It’s presents has no choice but to disrupt the balance of natural wildlife. For any group or organization to promote the existence and support of an invasive species shows an obvious lack of knowledge and total disregard for environmental regulations prohibiting such. Our government spends millions of our tax dollars to limit or prevent the spread of invasive species like round goby or zebra mussels and a feral species is nothing more than an invasive species introduced by man either intentionally or accidentally. Just look at the problems with the feral pigs in Texas or New Mexico. They cost farmers millions of dollars annually from crop damage. Feral snakes in Florida are displacing natural snake populations and are now actually endangering crocodile populations. Feral rabbits in Australia have been devastating the very limited vegetation consumed by Kangaroos and Wallabies. A decade ago our city introduced a by-law prohibiting cats from running loose. There was good reason for this as cats can cause serious problems when allowed to run free. I’ve had cats as pets my entire life and I know they make great house pets but that’s where they must stay, in the house. I certainly don’t agree with TAGG and feel that anyone who goes through the trouble to trap these feral cats should do the right thing and humanely euthanize the animal. I believe to intentionally release these cats would be a violation of regulations under the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Natural Resources, also municipal By-law 2000-49 which was passed in March of 2004 and in part prohibits anyone from allowing cats to roam free. As such TAGG should, at the very least, face penalty under the Provincial Offences Act. Feral animals must be eradicated if the natural environment is to survive. It`s hard to control irresponsible pet owners who allow these cats to roam free in the first place but it`s been proven to be impossible to control feral animals once they get a good foothold in the environment.
JoyD 2/4/2014 11:44:24 AM Report

Feral cats control the population of the rats in the city. They are out of control. TAAG is offering a long term solution to the population of the city. Proof that it works is the feral cat colony that WAS on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Feral Cat argument aside. There is still a situation presented to the public concerning the loss of the shelter space and to see if anyone will come forward to help.
Comments
13
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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