One thing I am proudest of about working with CWS is that I feel that we have been able to work with several caregivers to help protect their cats. Caregivers do a good job, but not everyone is very articulate or able to speak with the town council - and that's absolutely fine. This is the point where I am happy to come in and help if I can.
The flipside of this though, is that some people have gone from not speaking up, to coming to CWS and asking for help all the time as their first point of reference. So for example, cats are being trapped and they call CWS even though we have told them that they should call the town council, or worse, some people think that because CWS has spoken to the town council, all their cats have immunity, sterilised or not.
The point is that every TNRM programme in each area is as good as the caregivers, and the caregivers have to speak up in their own areas. I have been told before by officers that it's me calling the town council again, the implication being I think, that I am stirring up trouble, when actually I am calling on behalf of someone who just refuses to call the town council. This is why it's so important for every caregiver to make themselves known to the town council.
If a caregiver is doing their best, then I will do MY best (and the Society will try its best) to help the caregiver. However, this means living up to your word, and making sure every cat you look after is sterilised if you tell the town council you will. Certainly there may be genuine situations where something unexpected happens, and you are not able to complete the area by a certain date - then let the town council know. Let CWS know as well if we have been involved in discussions.
Please don't however relax and think that because CWS has spoken to your management council or town council that you can now not worry about sterilising your cats, or take your time doing it. Again your TC or Management Committee looks to you as the caregiver, to see what sort of job you are doing, and believe me when I say that they know who is reliable and who's not. If they think you're not reliable, they're not going to be inclined to work with you.
On a wider scale, if they see that the area under a TNRM programme is managed worse than when they used to trap and kill, then they are going to go back to that. If they leave the cats and they are not sterilised, the number WILL increase - and they're going to see this as proof that sterilisation doesn't work.
Please don't prove them right.