Feral Cat Awareness Week 2014

From 9th – 16th August, Ireland’s 5th Feral Cat Awareness Week 2014 was publicised and celebrated by Trap Neuter Return (TNR) groups all around the country. Spearheaded by Feral Cats Ireland, the networking resource for TNR (see more info below), the week got some great publicity – and loads of information was generated and shared.

So much so that I wanted to collect as much as possible in one place to be able to publicise further. And so I’m listing here the publicity I’m aware of (do let me know if I’ve missed anything!): manuals, posters, images, videos – you name it, it’s here. Hope you enjoy – and don’t forget to *care* and *share* and spread the TNR word. As Feral Cats Ireland states – Every day is Awareness Day!

The hashtag for the week was #feralcatweekireland.

Feral Cats Ireland’s Summary of the Week

FCI Heading towards a better futureFeral Cat Awareness Week is coming to an end and what a busy week it has been!

193 page ‘likes’ and posts on the page reaching 48,899 people this week!

There were two spikes of interest during the week, the first was the posting of the ‘I am an Irish feral cat’ photo with an incredible 370 shares (so far) reaching over 23,600 people. Thank you all so much for liking and sharing.

The second spike of interest was after the piece on ‘Newstalk’. (According to figures released in May, the programme has a listenership of 137,000).

The Journal.ie piece has had over 9,700 views with 115 Facebook shares, 25 tweets and 14 e-mails.

Thousands of leaflets have also gone out to people to distribute in their local areas and more to go. So a lot of awareness has been raised this week, but it doesn’t end today. Every day is awareness day!

Thank you all so much for your help and support this past week. Working together, we can make a better future for cats in Ireland.

Mainstream Publicity

Two pieces of publicity caught my attention. Feral Cats Ireland sent out the Press Release to a gazillion media outlets and I do hope these weren’t the only two responses. It just goes to show how much the publicity is needed and how much we need to encourage the media to see the importance of this humane method of population control.

Newstalk

Newstalk 12th AugustA ten minute sound bite Are Feral Cats Taking Over? on Newstalk on 12th August was very interesting – and great publicity for TNR! It was wonderful to hear the information broadcast nationally. Grand job to all the TNR people who participated in spreading the good word!

However, being me, I had to clarify some of the points made and correct a couple of bits of misinformation that unfortunately went out in the broadcast – Newstalk & TNR.

TheJournal.ie

Another great bit of publicity came from theJournal.ie, again highlighting Feral Cat Awareness Week, Spay that Stray and TNR.

TNR Manuals

Two excellent Manuals were launched during the week, both close to my heart, and both available for download at Feral Cats Ireland.

The first is the new TNR Manual for Ireland, How to Help Feral Cats. Funded by DoneDeal PetAware, and collated by Animal Advocacy *lil bow*, this Manual is presented for your delectation by Feral Cats Ireland to publicise, educate, enable and inspire TNR projects around Ireland. As I type, FCI’s new website is being designed. When completed it will host the expanded, web-based, aspect of the Manual. The Manual has been in the pipeline since 2012, so we were delighted to see it launched during the week.

*** Please NOTE: the links to further information, detailed in the manual, are NOT yet live – see this page for temporary links to the information ***

The second Manual was originally compiled by Limerick Feral Cats (LFC) in 2012. LFC are TNR experts extraordinaire, and their Feral Cat Care: a guide for veterinary nurses is aimed at the veterinary community. However, it’s immensely valuable to anyone interested in TNR. LFC ensured the technical veterinary information is 100% accurate, and reflects best practice, through consultation with a local vet nurse and her vet, both experienced in TNR and Irish veterinary protocols, and both LFC volunteers. This manual will also be available online on Feral Cats Ireland’s new site when it goes live, and you can find it here in the meantime.

Posters & Leaflets

FCI Information LeafletsInformation leaflets, available year round from Feral Cats Ireland for distribution, include their basic TNR leaflet, Caring for Community Cats and Spay that Stray. The leaflets are fantastic and local Vets, Pet shops, Libraries, Credit Unions, Farmers Co-ops, Residents Associations are all great places to display them – or drop them in letterboxes in your neighbourhood.

CCN PosterIn Cork, Community Cats Network produced a great poster publicising all the TNR groups in the area and their own TNR information leaflet. Available for download on their pages, these are also a great resource year round.

Other publicity was produced by TNR groups around Ireland and I can’t possibly list it all here. However, SpayAware.ie is definitely worth a mention. And do let me know of other national groups I should be including!

Soundbites

from Feral Cats Ireland

A tip on the ear means the Vet has been here! An ear tip indicates a cat has been spayed or neutered.

 

Spay that Stray to avoid a Cat-astrophe! Spay that stray cat in your garden today and this time next year you will still have just one cat in your garden. 

 

Trap Neuter Return is the solution to the cat population crisis in Ireland. It stops the breeding, plain and simple. No more kittens, no more nuisance behaviours, no more complaints, no more stress! It’s humane, effective, compassionate.

Feral Cats Ireland

Feral Cats Ireland, the networking resource that spearheads the Awareness Week, began life as a facebook page in July 2010. At that time, there was nothing on the internet specifically for or about community cats (stray, homeless, feral) in Ireland. It quickly progressed to a website, annual Awareness Week and is now also on twitter.

Feral Cats Ireland is an on-line resource dedicated to educating, advocating and networking on behalf of these once domestic pet cats who find themselves homeless and marginalised.

Please be aware they are not a group, rescue or charity. They do not have volunteers, traps, funds, a shelter or homes for cats. Their facebook page is very active and you are welcome to seek help by posting there or contacting them by email.

Feral Cats Ireland advocate Trap Neuter Return (TNR) for feral cats as a humane effective solution.

Animal Advocacy is proud to be part of the Feral Cats Ireland network.

Not Just TNR

During the week, a coincidental contact with a TNR friend in America made me realise that TNR is not just about trapping, neutering and returning cats.

There’s fostering and rehoming (where necessary); there’s national networks like Feral Cats Ireland and international networks like Alley Cat Allies; there’s friendship and support within and around the TNR community – also national and international; there’s mourning losses, and other learning experiences we could live without; there’s time spent and lost; there’s volunteers and paid workers; there’s governments, legislation and law makers and law keepers who help and hinder; there’s triumphs and achievements; and, in the end we all hope, long term solutions to the overpopulation problems.

I think a story I wrote during the week, of Scrabble & Scribble Scrabble, highlights many of these aspects of TNR, though it’s not about TNR. It’s about mutual support and appreciation – both central to keeping the individuals involved going.

Videos

Feral Cats Ireland have a number of videos highlighting the plight of feral cats in Ireland – and loads of info on TNR and the Awareness Week. See them all, and a few more besides from Mayo Cat Rescue (central to Feral Cats Ireland), here. I’m including only two here to complete this summary of the Awareness Week.

National Feral Cat Awareness Week 2014

 

 

Things are getting better!

 

 

Gallery

 

Related Links

 

Posted in Feral Cats Ireland, TNR Tales.

Leave a comment - we'd love to hear from you!