Are you an animal lover? Have you ever volunteered with or adopted from an animal rescue organization?
San Angelo is a growing town, and, as a town grows, so, too, does a sense of social responsibility. While growth can contribute to evolving attitudes and convictions, growth can also contribute to an increase in animal welfare problems. Fortunately, there are several rescue organizations and initiatives devoted to changing the culture of pet ownership in San Angelo by promoting animal welfare and adoption. In 2016 the city implemented the Spay/Neuter and Microchip Ordinance in an attempt to reduce unaltered pets and, therefore, the number of potentially unwanted animals. The animal shelter has also made efforts to help with the burgeoning dog and cat population by partnering with a local rescue organization to promote animal adoption. As an active segment of our growing city, ASU has also contributed to this effort with the Cat Coalition.
The ASU Cat Coalition was formed in January of 2012 in response to a large feline population on campus. The Coalition practices Trap, Neuter, Return, and Maintain (TNRM). Cats that are dumped or abandoned around the University contribute to uncontrolled reproduction, disease, and property damage. While removal is an option, it has proven to be a temporary solution. Instead, undomesticated cats are altered and vaccinated, and then returned to their original location on campus, where they form a colony. Through a partnership with Critter Shack, their health is maintained by regular veterinarian care. The established colony provides a safe, effective, and humane method to reduce and stabilize the cat population. The population is further controlled by the colony, whose members defend their territory against new, unaltered, or diseased cats, preventing incoming migration while also providing effective rodent control.
The following statistics, provided by Kristin Stanley (Instructional Designer of the Archer College of Health and Human Services and a member of the Cat Coalition) document the successes of the initiative since 2012.
- 65 % reduction in population within the 1st two years of implementation
- 51 cats currently on campus (east-side, west-side, Physical Plant, and Rat Lab)
- 78 cats have been removed/adopted since 2012
- Over 4,000 new kittens and subsequent litters prevented
In our continued effort to give back to the community, the ASU Library is asking for donations of dog and cat food to help the Cat Coalition and its partner, Critter Shack. The Cat Coalition is supported by volunteers, who provide food, water, and attention. Your donation will help by providing food for the animals in rescue, thus freeing up funds for health care needs. Food donations will be received by Autumn Barnes (email@example.com) until April 30th. You may also leave donations on the table area set up in the Library Learning Commons. For more information, stay tuned in to our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.