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Helping Feral Cats: Animal Welfare League Of Alexandria Launches New Program | Pets

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Helping Feral Cats: Animal Welfare League Of Alexandria Launches New Program

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA) - Those neighborhood cats in parts of Alexandria, the ones some folks feed and nurture, and others avoid (or complain about!), are getting a boost from the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA), which has officially launched Alexandria's first trap-neuter-return (TNR) program.

The TNR program is meant to address the health, welfare, and growing numbers of feral cats in the City, thanks to financing by a PetSmart Charities grant and funds from Alley Cat Allies. The project will humanely and effectively reduce the population of free-roaming cats, starting with two targeted neighborhoods.

The AWLA, assisted by Alley Cat Allies,is hosting TNR community workshops, where residents of the Arlandria neighborhood, and the Sanger Avenue neighborhood will learn more about the program. Other concerned citizens and those who currently take care of feral colonies are also encouraged to attend the workshops  for tips on being part of the program, as well as the best way to handle cat colonies in their areas.to learn how they can be a part of the program and how to properly manage community colonies in their neighborhood.

Volunteers interested in participating will receive training and supplies from the League, including humane traps. AWLA arranges for spay and neuter surgeries, and once volunteers have trapped cats, they can bring them to the shelter, where they'll be transported to surgery. After being spayed/neutered, the recovered cats will be returned to TNR volunteers who in turn will put the cats back into their managed colonies, where they will be cared for and will no longer be populating the area with kittens. Cats who are part of TNR programs are 'ear-notched,' with the tip of one ear snipped so that volunteers know that cat has been spayed/neutered and won't be re-trapped.

The first TNR Community Workshop was held Nov. 8, and future sessions, each running from 6:30 p.m.- 8 p.m., will be held on the following dates: November 26, December 10 and January 14, at  the Ellen Coolidge Burke Branch Library 4701 Seminary Road Alexandria, VA 22304 703.746.1704; November 29, Cora Kelly Recreation Center 25 West Read Avenue Alexandria, VA 22305 703.746.5554.

All information will be presented in English and Spanish. All of those caring for community cats are encouraged to attend.

The most efficient way to prevent animal homelessness and overpopulation is by spaying and neutering. The goal of the TNR program is to eliminate future litters of free-roaming cats, which inevitably end up at the shelter.

For more information about the TNR program, or adoption or other animal care questions, visit the AWLA website.