Monday, July 03, 2017

I'm Just the Trapper

 When people first contact me about help with neutering the community cats in their neighborhood or the barn cats on their farm, the first thing I do is tell them about available resources.  By the time they get ahold of me, a one-person outfit without any official rescue affiliation or website or 501(c)(3) status, they're usually pretty wrung out from getting told "no" over and over again by the local "official" rescues, none of whom do TNR (except the one I'm currently volunteering for, but shhhhh - that's our secret.)

So I tell them that their situation is not unusual, but that they ARE unusual in that they're willing to help when most people would turn a blind eye, and I thank them for that.  I meet with them to see what exactly their situation is, and share information about the resources that are available locally to assist them.

And then I tell them that I'm just the trapper.  I will not make the phone calls to the clinics to arrange the neuter appointments, and I will not pay for the surgeries.  I make sure that they have all the contact info they need to set up the appointments, and I make sure they have all the information regarding income restrictions, etc., for the various clinics.  I give advice about how to get neighbors to band together to help out.  I tell them that I will do everything as far as getting the cats trapped and to their surgeries once plans are in place, but I will not do all the work for them.  Because this isn't my problem.  This is everybody's problem.

And I'm only one person.  :)

(No, this is not me in these photos.  I'm not that good looking.)  :)

One neighborhood or one farm at a time.  That's what I do.  And I'm just the trapper.


James P. said...

You and Audrey DO understand that at least one of those animals is a HORSE, right? It won't fit in the traps. The kitties are too cute.

rockygrace said...

Oh my gosh, Ginny, I put that photo up on the Facebook page for the rescue's volunteers with the caption, "Who wants to foster the horse?", and had SEVERAL people step forward. :)

(The horses on the farm are very well cared for, btw.)

Tails from the Foster Kittens said...

Good for you for setting limits.. (and when I read the title I immediately thought - oh no, you are so much more than that!)

Random Felines said...

BLESS you - for helping and for knowing your limits. Mom gets this at adoption events - people obviously know she is with the rescue and expect her to DO SOMETHING. Except mom doesn't make those decisions...and sometimes people have to step up to help themselves. And we always have resource information we are happy to share. We are super glad there ARE people like you out there helping.

rockygrace said...

Tails, I firmly believe in setting limits - it's now I stay sane. Well, somewhat sane, at least. :)

And Random, before I got involved with local rescue groups, I, too, thought that if you needed help with a stray cat, all you had to do is call one of the local groups, and they'd rush right over in their rescue van and scoop up the kitty and find it a new home right away! I mean, that's what those people DO, right?!

As you know, it didn't take long at all to discover how underfunded and overwhelmed most of the caring rescues are. (The UN-caring shelters, on the other hand, well, we just won't go there.) And over the years I've been volunteering, I've discovered that a lot of the even well-meaning rescues were not very well-run at all, which explains why I've moved around a lot, rescue-wise. (and I'm very happy with the rescue I'm volunteering with now.)

The burn-out rate is incredibly high in rescue, which is one of the reasons why I limit my involvement. (Well, somewhat - I've got ringworm RIGHT NOW from my current Foster Cammpers, haha.) And I've been teaching some other volunteers lately on All Things Trapping, to try and pass it on. :)

Bottom line? Starfish story. haha.