Alfred University student Riley Strayer has noticed something amiss across Alfred: a large population of feral cats have been displaced from their habitats, and it is becoming a crisis.
Alfred TNR, standing for Trap-Neuter-Return, was a club created by Strayer to spread awareness of the TNR branch, and learning techniques on how to deal with the feral cats in the town. This club welcomes everybody, student and faculty, as well as members from the Village and Alfred State. The point of the club is to help find the cat colonies warm housing, food, and to keep their numbers down.
“I started a club dedicated to protecting the cats’ habitats and best interests using the TNR method,” explained Strayer. “TNR is the humane way to manage a feral colony. You can tell a cat has been TNR’d if they have a tipped ear.”
The picture attached to the article is one of a few ways that a community cat’s ears can be tipped. It comes from the site associated with the TNR concept, Facesprayneuter.org.
“If you see a cat in town without a tipped ear,” Strayer asked, “please report their description, including a picture if possible, and send it to me at my Alfred email or on the Facebook page ‘Alfred Cats’.”
Meetings for Alfred TNR are at the parking lot, known as the Catio to club members, behind Miller Theater on Saturdays at 2pm, but they are subject to change so those seeking more information should email Riley Strayer at firstname.lastname@example.org for specifics. Those looking to apply via AU Connect can find the club under the name “Alfred TNR-AU Branch.”
The meetings are short, yet educational, and make a difference in Alfred’s ecosystem as the cat colonies find a balance again. Strayer’s passion for the cause, and the club, bolsters members into taking courses of action in caring for the feral colonies that they didn’t know were available to them.
Alfred TNR, at its core, is a support system. The members of the club support each other in trying to manage the cats, and through that support, the colonies themselves. Through the experience, club and community members become acquainted and develop trusting relationships with the cats in the area.
Although the club is fledgling at the time of this article, those involved are ready to make a difference and are asking people to join their cause.
By Sam Sage