Brother Wolf partners with county for cat colony TNR project: Foster opportunities open to the public for felines

Published 5:12 pm Friday, March 31, 2017

One large cat colony in the county is receiving some help from across the state line.
The first joint-effort project of the Carter County Mayor’s Office and Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, a nationwide animal rescue based in Asheville, is scheduled to start this weekend as both entities will address and take measures to help a feral cat colony.
During the past two Animal Advisory Board meetings, the topic of the colony has been brought up with Tuesday’s meeting indicating there were nearly 120 feral felines in the area.
County Mayor Leon Humphrey told attendees this week that Brother Wolf’s Community Cat Team will begin the project on Sunday, April 2.
Workers with the organization will trap, spay/neuter, vaccinate and return animals to their caregiving after surgeries.
The estimated timeline for the project is roughly one month, a little longer due to the amount of animals involved, according to the organization.
In a statement released by Brother Wolf, a number of semi-social kittens involved with the project will need to be trapped and placed into foster homes until they are adoption ready.
“Brother Wolf is appealing to the public for help in fostering the kittens,” the statement read. “Fostering is fun, easy and rewarding. Anyone interested is encouraged to complete Brother Wolf’s Foster Agreement as soon as possible.”
Individuals can visit online to fill out a foster application.
Members of the public unable to foster but would like to donate to medical care that the cats require can visit and put in the comments section “Carter County cats”. Kitten supplies for fosters, including kitten food (dry or wet) heating pads, caro syrup and litter boxes can be dropped off at Petsense, located at 776 West Elk Avenue in the Ingles Shopping Center.
“We are thrilled to assist Carter County with this project and happy we could assist this community cat caregiver,” said Denise Bitz, president of Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. She added, “We are so happy to be working with a government entity who believes in a humane approach to community cats as well as supporting caregivers that care for these cats. Given the number of cats involved, we are expecting quite a few kittens that we are asking for the public’s help with. If you’ve ever wanted to foster, this is your chance. We need you.”
Community cats are unowned cats that thrive in communities across the country.
Caregivers feed and maintain the colonies, ensuring the animals are spayed/neutered and vaccinated using a method called Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). Over time, the colonies shrink in size as the altered animals die off of natural causes. TNR is the preferred method of humanely and ethically handling community cat colonies and is embraced by a fast-growing number of communities across the United States.
The county and Brother Wolf recently entered into a partnership following new leadership put in place at the shelter. The nonprofit organization is looking to provide assistance to the county, with more opportunities on the horizon following the final conclusion of the Tennessee State Comptroller Office’s investigative report into allegations that occurred in the past at the shelter.
Since recent improvement, including an expansion project and spay/neuter partnership with LMU — and a new partnership with the Kentucky Humane Society — the organization recently presented the county with a leadership award due to the steps taken at the facility to help ensure safety for the animals.
“We need the 501(c)3 support,” Humphrey said. “Brother Wolf has been established for ten years, a nationwide organization, and our hope is they could set up a chapter locally in Elizabethton to help with the shelter and provide opportunities for volunteers.”
Brother Wolf currently has five chapters in place within North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

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