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Veterinarian Technician October 2009 (Vol 30, No 10)

Online Tool Allows the Veterinary Team to Help Feral Cats

by Marie Rosenthal

    BETHESDA, MD—Alley Cat Allies, an advocacy group for feral cats and kittens, has announced the launch of an online resource center aimed at members of the veterinary community to learn more about how they can play a critical role in improving the lives of stray and feral cats. The online center, which will launch in connection with the celebration of the 9th annual National Feral Cat Day on Oct. 16, is available at www.alleycat.org/Veterinarian.

    "The veterinary community plays an essential role in the humane treatment of feral cats both by serving as a resource for the public and by providing direct veterinary care and neuter services as part of trap-neuter-return [programs], or TNR," said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies.

    "Veterinary offices are often the first place caring individuals turn with questions. In the past, there has been a lack of practical information pertaining to these cats," Robinson said. "As stray and feral cat experts, Alley Cat Allies seeks to fill this void."

    The Alley Cat Allies online veterinary resource center includes scholarly articles, fact sheets and multimedia tools for veterinarians on topics that will help them learn more about the care and needs of feral cats, such as:

    • Understanding feral cat health: Scientific articles on a range of health topics, including rabies and FIV/FeLV
    • Understanding feral cat behavior: Articles, videos, and illustrations by experts in feline behavior about distinguishing a truly feral cat from a frightened owned or stray cat
    • Understanding feral cat veterinary protocol: Resources and articles on early age spay/neuter; video demonstrations of high-volume spay/neuter techniques and protocols for testing, vaccination and ear-tipping feral cats
    • Understanding TNR programs: Comprehensive resources, including information about the effectiveness of TNR programs for feral cat colonies to assist the veterinary community in further understanding TNR and how they can contribute to its success
    • Understanding the feral cat population: Access to peer-reviewed research on cat populations and spay/neuter status

    Alley Cat Allies' scientific board is comprised of some of the nation's top feral cat veterinarians. Alley Cat Allies was the first organization to introduce TNR in the United States and the first to establish the best-practice standards for the program. It has also conducted high-volume neuter clinics for 15 years in the Washington, DC, region and hosted wet labs to train veterinarians on medical protocol for stray and feral cats.

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