Homeless Cat Management
The Homeless Cat Management Team works to control the population of feral cats in the South Side by setting out humane traps containing food to lure the cats in.
Once the cats are trapped, they are transported to the Animal Rescue League, where a team of veterinarians will spay or neuter the cats. Rabies shots, vaccines or medications are administered and the tip of the ear is clipped while under anesthesia as a marker for being spayed/neutered. This is a well-known way of detecting the sterilization of feral cats so that they are not trapped again for the same procedure.
The team has accomplished over 14,000 surgeries and that number grows with every month. With enough resources the team has been able to open their very own clinic and provide low cost spay and neutering twice a month to people who trap feral cats. There are not enough homes for all the stray kitties, so we must work together to spay and neuter. If we have no births, then we have no kill shelters. If we want to save a life, we must be responsible and get our pets spayed or neutered.Duquesne students volunteered on March 19 and 29, 2011, to help trap the cats and on March 20, participated in the spaying/neutering of the trapped cats.
"Working on this project not only enhanced my leadership skills, but also enabled me to explore actual problems in local communities, instead of just looking at problems in the lab. Creating an informative brochure and talking to people in the community was helpful in building my communication skills and becoming more confident talking to people (I never used to like public speaking!!), but now I’m completely okay with getting up and talking to people about this project.
"It taught me that leadership is definitely more than just being organized; it was also about telling people about how we were actually helping the community and doing something that would benefit everyone. I was excited to pass on what I learned to other people so they, too, could take charge and continue the chain, passing it on to even more people. This project is something I am very proud to be involved with and I would be happy to continue working with the Homeless Cat Management Team, since this is an ongoing issue that will not be solved after one weekend."
— Cheryl Dusky
Service learning gave me the opportunity to put my love for animals to action. Not only did I get to accomplish something meaningful, but also I met amazing people and animals along my journey. Servicing learning taught me to lead by example, and always utilizing the positive deviance approach. Feral cats have touched my heart, and I hope I have made a small impact in HCMT's overall goal.
- Victoria Bain