TORONTO, October 12, 2021: Thanksgiving isn’t over for members of the Toronto Feral Cat Coalition. On October 16th “Feral Cat Awareness Day” will be celebrated by many grateful residents and feral cat advocates. “We’re very fortunate in Toronto,” says Penny Cookson, Director, Community Cats Toronto. “Thanks to Toronto City Council, Toronto Animal Services, Toronto Humane Society and a number of other local organizations who work together we are able to provide low cost and free spay neuter services to Torontonians who care for feral cat colonies. Additionally, similar services are provided by the Ontario SPCA to people who look after colonies outside of Toronto”
Feral Cat Awareness Day in Toronto will be marked by:
- a mass spay/neuter clinic on Friday October 15th (Toronto Animal Services)
- a shelter building workshop (Toronto Street Cats)
- an online Caretaker webinar on October 16th (Community Cats Toronto)
- and a public education table at Piccinnini Community Centre/Giovanni Caboto Rink on Saturday October 16th from 10am to 2pm (Annex Cat Rescue).
In Toronto, the feral cat population was once estimated to be as high as 100,000 cats. In the past 10 years, Coalition member groups have sterilized at no cost an estimated 18,000 feral and free-roaming cats, with Toronto Humane Society already doing close to 1,000 this year alone. Additionally low cost spay neuter services have been provided to thousands of cats.
“The change we’ve seen in Toronto over the past 10 years is really quite incredible,” says Liz White, Director, Animal Alliance of Canada. “In many communities across Canada, feral cats are a nuisance and are simply killed. But we know, from years of research and data collection, that that approach does not reduce the feral cat population, that doesn’t address the perceived problem in the community. What does work is public education and good animal services programs, like Trap, Neuter and Return. Tremendous credit goes to Toronto City Council for supporting the initiatives of Toronto Animal Services. We are now beginning to see the benefits, with fewer cats on the streets and fewer cats ending up in Toronto shelters.”
Municipalities and feral cat advocates throughout Ontario, from the prairies, and from Quebec have reached out to Coalition member groups for advice and for resources for cats. “The partnerships and results we have in Toronto are being noticed,” stated Nalini Ramroop, from Toronto Cat Rescue. “People across Canada want to see compassionate policies in their neighbourhoods. We continue to receive requests for meetings and educational seminars from other communities and it’s very exciting.”
Feral Cat Awareness Day is October 16. For more information, visit TorontoFeralCatCoalition.ca
Penny Cookson, Community Cats Toronto, firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz White, Animal Alliance, email@example.com
Nalini Ramroop, firstname.lastname@example.org