Planning a Trap, Treat, Rehome, & Return for approximately 300 cats at the Core Creek Park in Pennsylvania has many obstacles. How can they all be caught? Where can they all be sheltered? Which shelter partners can help with rehoming friendly cats, and with the feral kittens? Where will the money come from? These are the questions that our #MonthlyMojo shelter for March, Animal Lifeline, face as they aggressively plan to help all the cats in the park. Their goal was to leave both the park and the cats in better shape than they were found in. The park is littered with more than 250 ramshackle feral cat shelters, some abandoned, some not suitable for use. Park visitors had been complaining, and Animal Lifeline was under pressure to make the park look less like a cat colony and more like the public natural space it was intended to be.
The timing was a problem. Animal Lifeline had to advise the county that the housing would have to wait until after the public outreach; they needed all their volunteers for the project to trap, provide medical for, and either return or rehome the cats. But the county is also a partner in the endeavor, and after some brainstorming they offered the assistance of local inmates, who were willing to help. Another partner, Alley Cat Allies, made suggestions, and the county took the lead on the housing.
The collaboration between shelters, local government, and the community will be vital as Animal Lifeline continues the Core Creek Park project. For more than 20 years, this park has been a dumping ground for abandoned cats. Today, thanks to the hard work of a diverse group of people, they have a brighter future.