What makes a good TNRM group
I was just speaking with a caregiver this morning. She mentioned that when there are problems in her area, often the town council will call her. There is a story going around that her cats are 'protected' and therefore they won't be caught - and the simple reason why is that she works with the TC.
Here's the thing - a lot of people wait till its too late to think about working with the management or the town council. Usually this happens after the cats have been caught, and then the most pressing consideration is to get the cats back. Of course I understand this - but if the cats are returned, then as sometimes happens, these feeders subside back into their normal routine and don't work out how to prevent the cat from being caught again.
It's great that you saved the cats - but it's more important to do prevention than rescue. It's certainly better to prevent the cat from being trapped, then to have them be trapped and then 'rescue' them. And the only way to do it is to work with the town councils.
Looking around at the different groups, I realise the difference between a good TNRM group and those that are not doing so well boils down to a few things. One, the group has to look out for each other and work together. In some estates there's a mentality that if it happens to someone else's cats, and not theirs, then it's not an issue that they should concern themselves with. That's until the complaints start hitting THEIR area.
In estates where the programme works well in contrast, it's because the group works together - they help each other out, welcome new members into the fold and are supportive. They can count on each other for advice, AND for support when they see the TC or MP.
Two, the group lives up to what they promise to do. If they promise the TC they will look into a problem, they'll make sure they do it. If the TC or MC sees that you are trustworthy, why would they NOT want to work with you?
Three, they're able to explain why they are doing TNRM and why it is important and are calm doing so. To be honest, when I read some of the emails sent in by caregivers wanting to meet the TCs, I'm not sure I would want to meet them either. They're not very convincing, they're very emotive, and they don't tell the TC why TNRM is useful.