The “Library Kitties” who call the Salt Lake Community College Taylorsville Redwood Campus home received a new lease on life this past winter.
“This same time last year, many anonymous staff, students and faculty members were feeding the cats on campus in stealth mode,” says Ashley Thompson, President of Advocates for Animals. “Now with the alliance of Best Friends [Animal] Society, the Thayne Center and SLCC’s club Advocates for Animals, we are one united force to be reckoned with.”
This determined group has even gone further. In four months, eight campus cats have been successfully trapped and released. The cats were given physicals, spayed or neutered, vaccinated and returned to the home they have known their entire lives.
The idea is to treat and release (TNR) the cats back out into the wild, where they no longer reproduce beyond uncontrollable numbers. There are more trappings scheduled.
“It’s amazing to see once freezing and desperately hungry cats, now stretching out of their new cat houses to stroll over to their designated buffet of kitty food,” says Thompson. “Even (sic) more importantly, to perform successful TNR and witness less and less kittens being born into such a harsh climate, which will cause a magnificent ripple effect for good.”
Thompson and Kristin Johnson, the club’s faculty advisor, point out that these are wild and feral cats.
“This is really important, they may perceive attempts to touch them as attacks and react accordingly,” warns Johnson.
These cats are all very much at home prowling the campus day and night. It is not a good idea to feed them lunch leftovers or try to pet them. As the cats become more comfortable they should be noticed more around campus.
Anyone interested in joining the club or making a donation can do so by going to their Facebook page.
“Volunteers are the heart of the program,” says Johnson.
SLCC recently held a pet food drive. Barrels donated by the Utah Food Bank were placed in the main buildings at all three SLCC campuses to collect donations.
“I hope the fellowship will continue to flourish between the involved parties and real progress can be made. We currently have an estimated 20-25 cats; our goal is to keep community cat numbers down and current feline residents happy,” states Johnson.
Photos courtesy Ashley Thompson