FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) — A Fairborn nonprofit has been working to control the city’s cat population, but the pandemic has caused a recent increase with people moving, leaving their cats behind, and cats breeding.
Janet started Fairborn’s Trap Neuter Release Program in 2014.
“I had seen a trapper, picking up a cat and throwing it in the back of a truck,” Janet says.
She called animal control, “And I said ‘there’s somebody throwing a cat in the back of a truck in a cage.’ And ‘what’s going on?’ And they told me that Fairborn had hired a trapper, and the trapper was gassing the cats.”
Janet’s heart broke, and with the city’s permission, she started the TNR program to stop killing the cats.
Tyson was one of her first cases. He came in six years ago with pellets in his spine and had to have surgery.
“He wasn’t able to walk. He was full of open sores, and one ear was completely mangled,” Janet describes.
Now he’s 23, and he’s on chronic medicine for different ailments and goes to the veterinarian every six weeks.
“You go everywhere you see cats all over Fairborn,” says Karla, who has 20 years of trapping experience and joined Fairborn TNR in 2020.
“It’s obvious. There’s just too many, and the cats suffer for it,” Karla says.
The group is the busiest its been since its foundation.
“We have not seen anything like this in as many years as we’ve been doing this. It has 20 times fold,” says Janet, who says the reason is due to the pandemic.
Volunteers work to trap free, roaming cats to get them their shots and get them spayed and neutered.
“We get them shots, we get them rabies, spay or neuter, and if they’re adoptable, they usually come home with fosters, then we find rescues to send them to,” describes Janet.
“We’re kind of like the triage. We identify the cat. You know, is it sick? Does it need vet care?” says Nancy, a volunteer and master trapper with Fairborn TNR.
The nonprofit works in all conditions and is gearing up for kitten season, even though they’ve seen a lot of kittens all year long.
“You’re hot. You’re cold. You wear boots. You do what you have to do,” says Lillie, who’s also a volunteer.
“For the most part, when we trap them, we return them because that’s where they need to be,” stated Shari. “A lot of them like being in colonies, like being outside.”
The group relies heavily on donations.
“TNR could not do it without the donors. There’s no way we could do without the food, the money, the medicines, the litter, the cleaning supplies,” says Karla.
Fairborn TNR emphasizes they are not a rescue, but they help give the cats a voice.
“We are their voice,” says Janet.