PAWS of JH is expanding their efforts to reduce the growing number of feral cats in the Teton Valley area. Unchecked populations of feral cats lead to suffering and the spread of communicable diseases. Dr. Maura of Victor Vet states, “having more intact cats around carrying these diseases also increases risk of a pet encountering an infected feral cat and becoming infected fighting over territory.” There have even been cases of ranchers finding dead cats in their hay which could affect the health of the animals eating the hay.
Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) is the most humane way to get control of the feral cat population. These cats are accustomed to living outdoors and would not thrive in a shelter or home environment. The kindest thing we can do for these cats is to care for them and make sure their populations are controlled. Over time, these healthy colonies will diminish due to our harsh climate, old age, and natural predation.
PAWS works with two local trappers: Aska Langman, and Gabby Murdock (who also took the featured photo at the top of the post) who will go to your property, trap the feral cats, bring them to a local vet to be altered, and then return the cats to you. They’ll even give you free cat food to keep the colony fed and happy. PAWS of JH will cover the surgery costs and has resources for donated cat food.
PAWS of JH began offering free spay/neuter vouchers to residents of Teton Valley in 2011 and has issued 1,549 vouchers to date. If you have a pet who needs to be spayed or neutered or need cats trapped and altered, call PAWS of Jackson Hole at 307-734-2441 or go online at pawsofjh.org. PAWS vouchers are accepted at all of the Teton Valley veterinarians and will be sent directly to your vet. “The S/N and TNR programs funded by PAWS are vital to the health and welfare of the pets in our community,” Dr. Summer of Circle S Mobile Vet.
It couldn’t be any easier to do the right thing for the pets on your property.
The Heat is On
Female cats and dogs tend to get the short end of the stick when it comes to reproducing. They are constantly harassed while in heat (cats are in heat twice a month when unbred) and are the ones who have to go through the pregnancy, birth, and nursing cycle. This can happen as early as 4 months of age for both dogs and cats. Aside from the burden of having babies, there are myriad health benefits to spaying your pets. Dr. Maura of Victor Veterinary states, “female dogs and cats that have multiple litters in their life will not only be putting more of their reserves and energy toward nursing kittens/ puppies they will also be at higher risk of mammary tumors and uterine infections later in life.”
Who Let the (Boy) Dogs Out
Your unneutered dog wants OUT period. Male dogs are ready to breed at 6 months of age and their natural instincts tell them to go find a female. There is no such thing as unexpected pregnancy in the animal world. Of male dogs hit by cars yearly, 75% of them are unneutered. By altering a male dog, you eliminate behaviors of roaming, urine marking, mounting and dog aggression. Additionally, dogs who are neutered generally do not like unfixed males and will bully them, posing a dog-fight risk. Neutering your male dogs prevents testicular cancer and some prostate problems, too.
The testosterone circulating in your unneutered male cats makes them prone to fighting, yowling, territorial spraying, and running wild. Intact cats will breed and fight causing transmission of diseases such as FeLV and FIV between them and to their offspring. As for the Neutered cats have a lower risk of testicular and prostate diseases and certain cancers.