Ep73 - Taryn Breuer
In getting. You turned into the community cats podcast ready. Let's cal. Welcome to the Kennedy podcast. I'm your host Stacey there. I've been involved helping homeless cats over twenty years Merrimack river feline messy society the goal of this podcast is just those us to mazing people were proving the lives of cats. I hope he's interviews will help us or do you concern? Your passion for cats into action today when you're seeing Terrence brewer Terron is retired as you cater having taught preschool during the last twelve years of her career is always loved kids and all animals, and our family has had a wide variety of pets and livestock. He loves the outdoors and reading in her spare time in addition to being the T R N, chairman of the friends of the genetic hunt animals shelter. She is also the president. Organization began managing a local shelter. Just over a year ago. She volunteers there three days a week. Life is busy and full. It's rewarding to be retired and have the time to get back to the community tariff. Thank you, welcome to the show. Thank you. Stacey. It's so nice to be with you. So Terry we've known each other for years at this point in time. But if you can let listeners know how does she get started in helping communities cats, well, honestly until about four years ago. I didn't know what a community count was. But one evening, a friend of mine was eating at a local food establishment. And she noticed a hungry kitten crying outside the door. She said it and that began the thought process that maybe there were more cats out there who needed help, and she came over and approached me and said, she would certainly like a co-chair to begin. Tea and our program in our community. And did I know an organization that could help us as it happened. I was already involved with an organization who had been hoping for many years to get a program going. So we met each other and our program began a older lady from a community not too far from us was already trapping and getting community cat spayed neutered. And she was kind enough to begin the first steps of mentoring us and loaning us her traps until we could purchase some of our own equipment. And that was back in February of two thousand twelve and where are you located parents, we are located in Blair, Nebraska. So it's a very rural community where you are is a very rural very farm based community. Thirty our county that we serve covers about four hundred square miles. And there is just a lot of need for cats for rodent control of many of our farmers raise grain or livestock, which they feed grain. And you know, what that brings my end rats, and those rats and mice have to be controlled by the lovely cats. Then when you first started you partnered with an organization, or who did you work with to help actually start with your first trip native return program. Actually, we just kind of borrowed equipment. And honestly, I was already hooked into an organization that could begin the funding of it. So we went out and kind of learned by trial and error. And ironically, some of the equipment that we were lent wasn't really well taken care of. And so we not only learned some basics of trapping. But we learned how important the care of your equipment is and we'd met through the MR mentor program. So I assume that that was after that initial startup time. How long has been doing feral cat trap neuter return before you entered into the Merrimack river feline rescue societies mentoring program, we were actually mentored in two thousand fourteen but we did not have that many cats under our belt, so to speak because as you know, this has a learning curve to it and our first year we thought we were doing a fantastic job when we manage to nab a hundred and forty one cats to get them altered the second year, we did about one hundred and seventy three and we were giving yourself a Pat on the back, and now we kind of grin and look back on those days and. And wonder where those slow days went because now we are working nearly daily. on the town population issue. So it was in two thousand and fourteen that we were blessed to get a grant to you guys. And we on the show. We haven't talked much about the mentor experience with you'd be willing to share with us. What that was like. Absolutely. The really neat component of that mentoring. Grant experience was realizing that there was a whole network really basically nationwide working on the same issues and facing the same challenges as you were it really made you feel like gosh, we're not alone out here. There's other people helping as well, maybe we really can get this population under control. It was also really interesting to note how the processes that. Each group followed were just a little bit. Different. But the overall goals were the same. We would have these groups conference calls a month or two times a month if needed where five or six or seven groups would be on the same call together. So that everybody would be able to share their experiences and able to see how things were working for them in their mentoring process and the group effort, I think was very beneficial. It sounds like it was as a group out in Nebraska that really didn't have a group next door that work with or or partner with yes, unfortunately, the mid west has been a little bit slower to embrace T and R and the cat population control measures necessary, but we're working on it. One thing. I remember distinctly from that project, and I tend to refer that mentoring crisis sort of the fans placements class for transmitter in return because I would ask group to do so much in trapping over pretty short period of time in there, but we would call a target area. But being in the bresca you've had quite a bit of challenges because it was a pretty cold and snowing winter, and you're trapping in the wintertime. You have any tips for success for teaching you're trapping going through the winter months. Actually, the weather is pretty challenging in the winter in Nebraska. But one thing that we have learned is if we can microwave are bait until it is really hot, and then wrap it up in a towel to keep it warm while we quickly get to our tapping site that helps a lot because frozen bait does not attract cats. The other thing is to make sure. Sure that you have proper attire for yourself. So that you are warm enough because sometimes you were standing right out in the elements, and it can be brutal. I will be honest and say that the trapping does low down a bit in the winter just because of the weather if it is too cold either on the day that we're supposed to trap or the day that we're supposed to release then we need to back off and not trap that week. We don't wanna release cats when it is to bitterly cold for them. And I also think that there were a couple of instances where you will just go in crew barn tests and were trapping those pets in the wintertime from within the bar. Yes. That is true. And that is one aspect that we do keep going. Some of our farmers are really good and caring about their cats. And actually provide either hay or straw, or some even provide heated houses for their cats knuckled down with in the winter and those cats we feel comfortable getting altered in the cold weather. Another one of your challenges was accessibility or of say neuter in a correct me if I'm wrong on my memories are, but I believe you used to have to drive your pets quite a way to get to say neuter clinic is that still the case, actually, no, we are truly blessed? We actually have stay neuter clinic about twenty miles from Blair. And so our trip is pretty easy compared to some of the other groups that I knew traveled over an hour one way to get their cats brought in so we're feel really blessed? And we also have our local vets who are very supportive of our program. So. So I think we're sitting pretty good. Let's break I know that can be from Brock for many organizations just not being able to have access to affordable thing or at a at a local level in the other thing. My I'm going back through my my memory of thousand fourteen which I can't leave a couple years ago was I believe we introduce choose to using transfer cases is that correct view did. And they have become such a valued piece of equipment that I really don't know how we went for the first two years without them, we transfer nearly everyone to transfer cages, in fact, even when we bring our shelter kittens to one of our local vets they ask that those cats be placed in transportation's because she said that the cats can suffocate themselves in a pet taxi in the corner. Her where in our transfer cages, it's not possible. So she feels much more secure about pudding a sleeping tap in a transfer cage at allowed you to be able to transfer more cats to the critics in a smaller vehicle that is correct. So for those that don't know what a transfer cage is it is about you say about half the size of us rapper concert of the size of trap that ably to. Yeah. And then once you traffic that how do you get the cat from the trap into the transfer cage. With the nice thing is the doors match up perfectly. So then if you just open that to sliding door mechanisms and place a towel over the transfer cage. So it looks dark, but cat that's been in the trap thinks it's going to escape and goes into your transfer cage. Now, I will say if they're a little bit. Stubborn or hesitant. We do have a pair of. I'm not sure what you even call them. But we call it a big fork that we can put behind the cat and just kind of nudge it forward. And once you get them started. They transfer right in it's fabulous. And now, let's take a moment. Listen to a few words from our sponsors ready to make a big difference for cats in your community. We've got an exciting opportunity that can jump. Start your efforts. The community cats podcast has launched community cats grants when you qualify for this innovative program, you'll gain valuable knowledge about how to raise funds for your spay neuter efforts plus will match the funds you raise up two thousand dollars. Doubling your -bility to make a difference for cats fundraising doesn't have to be scary. We'll be with you every step of the way check it out. You can find all of the details on the community cats podcast website under our education menu. Let's join forces to make the world better place for community cats. So you said in the first couple of years, you were averaging about a hundred and forty to one hundred seventy cats a year. And and how are you doing now in terms of the number of cats you're saying neutering new year? Well, Justice week we hit cats four hundred for this calendar year and our overall number for those four years is sixteen hundred cats, so wonderful. Yeah, we just have a small team. So I feel pretty good about that. It's really just my husband, and I that have continued with this program. Oh, wow. Wow. So you've really organization has stayed very small. Yes, are supporting organization has remained active. It's just our TR team for one reason or another people are still interested. They still received the notices, but they are not actively trapping at this point. Hopefully that will change. Change as their life circumstances change having fest, everything in the community in terms of they number of kittens going into the local seltzer have seen it impact in that. And that's the we are starting to see that impact. It's really exciting last summer. My husband, and I actually fostered eighty five t and our kitten. Oh my God. It wasn't exhausting but rewarding summer and all of those kittens, plus the cats that were in the shelter when we took over the management of it. We're all funneled through and adopted. Now this summer our highest number of Foster's has been at fifteen and that is just now that I have hit that number. So we've seen a fabulous impact. I just feel like we're really starting to see the fruits of our sweat and labor, and they important part is also to be able to keep up and on top of it too. You know, always make sure that your thing topper, you know, any news new tests or new colonies that that become a pair and accounting, but it sounds like you and your husband, and and those that are helping out at the shelter really making a great a great difference in impact for protests. Well, we sure do hope. So and yes, you're right. You have to go and follow. Oh up because I just learned this week that another cat had wandered into an area that we had quote completed. And so now we'll have to circle back and pick up that mama cat and her eight offspring. And I just wanted to ask you a question that we tend to ask a lot of our guests on the show. If you saw a strange pet on the street, what would you do? And I know it's more of a rural area. So maybe it's a group of test near a farm. What would you do? Actually, we try to see if we can figure out who lives there, and we try to encourage them to reach out for our services were not really allowed to solicit. They have to make the first phone call. But I have been known to leave a business Carter to in the door never in the mailbox because that's not legal. Gotcha. And what has been one of their more challenging? Situations that you've had to deal with over the last four years. He we actually have had a couple colonies of over fifty cats to try to work our way through and one of the gentleman did not want anyone coming onto his land. So it was very labor intensive because we needed to give him the trap and the transfer to Jews in town. He would drive them out to his house. He would trap everybody. He would need us back into town. We would get everybody transferred to our vehicle bring them to our house. And this process was repeated over weeks and weeks and weeks of time. So his colony was very unhealthy to and can imagine it being that large. Yeah. It's challenging working with people sometimes sometimes almost harder than working with the cats. Exactly. And one other question. I have you were lucky enough to get the mentoring grant, how have you been able to fundraise for this program since two thousand fourteen we've been blessed enough to kit a couple of other grants from other groups of well, plus our organization holds an annual Fe, Getty dinner, and those funds are used strictly for spaying and neutering and thankfully between those efforts and the generous donations that come in through our community. We've been able to keep our program going strong. That's fantastic to feel that your program would be where it is today if you hadn't participated in some sort of a mentoring program. No that really helped get us going it not only really motivated us. And opened her eyes to some new and different ways to do things. But honestly equipment that we were able to purchase in a hurry helped immensely, you know, if you're working with only a half a dozen traps, and you've got a colony of fifteen or twenty cats, it can take much longer to work through that colony than if you have traps and transfer teaches and other, you know, equipment to work with so parrot, if they're folks that are interested in finding out more about your organization or reaching out to you. You are I yes, that's been on the show from Nebraska, maybe there are other folks out in the bresca or out in that general area of the country that was like to reach out and find out more about the work that you do how could they find you? They can go to our website WWW, Blair animal, shelter dot org. And there will be a button on. On our home page that will give you all the information you need and cluding contact information and Paradis anything else to share with our listeners for this. Just Stacey I what to think your group for really getting us going, and I really want to stress to people, please spay and neuter your cats and your dogs, not only for population control. But for the health of your animal Farren, that's a great way to end the show. I want to thank you so much for green tea against on my show. And I hope you'll be on in the future. Think Stacy I'd love to I really appreciate the opportunity. Thank you for listening to community cats podcast. Really appreciate it. If you would go to items leave a review of the show. It will help spread the word to help more community cats.