Friday, May 25, 2007

Finding Caregivers

This woman texted me again today to say that they usually started helping out in an area because they knew there were feeders there. I pointed out there's a big difference between feeders and caregivers. The former feed. The latter feed, sterilise, manage or take part in one or more of these activities within a wider TNRM programme. She asked how it was possible to tell that the feeders were going to be responsible, and that the environment wasn't conducive anyway.

I told her that generally I find the people who mention the environment isn't conducive aren't going to be the reliable ones. In the first place, many of them will say there's no use speaking to the TC - but if you ask, most of them have never tried and don't want to having to do with the TC. Then if there IS a problem and it needs to be solved, who is going to mediate and liaise with the TC? Certainly not these feeders. Then unless the person who undertook the sterilisation is prepared to go down and mediate and handle the situation, if there is a problem, then the cats will be removed (and this is provided the TC will deal with the person as a non-resident). It does look bad when you have people complaining about the cats but not a single resident there willing to speak up for them.

There are another group of people who may have tried speaking to the TC and found their TC to be unhelpful or unwilling to listen and that's of course different. In that case, it may be just speaking with the caregiver to put their message across in a different way - the vast majority of TC officers will accept that TNRM just means one thing, less complaints to deal with because there is a caregiver willing to handle them. That's something almost anyone can appreciate.

I told the woman that at the end of the day, it's entirely up to her. Getting the cats sterilised is good no matter what - but she cannot then expect that they will necessarily be safe if she feeds in areas without caregivers. It's too late to then come running and say that the cats are in trouble - because in the cases she's come to me about, the feeders there have been unwilling to help subsequently.



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