The Friends of Ferals program is a low-cost monthly spay/neuter clinic for feral cats at Rochester Community Animal Clinic (RCAC). RCAC works with local volunteers to support trap-neuter-release services (TNR). This program helps to lower the rate of disease and reproduction among feral colonies. The cats also receive vaccinations and ear-tipping so that colony caretakers know which cats have been spayed/neutered already.
For more information about Friends of Ferals, please call RCAC at (585) 288-0600.
Thanks to the generous support from the Ralph G. and Wilma J. Maibaum Foundation, we are able to keep client costs low.
Below, you can read about why one of the volunteers, Stephenie, supports Friends of Ferals
Q & A with Stephenie McCormick, Friends of Ferals Donor:
How did you first become involved with RHFP?
When I retired, I was no longer able to pay the fees for spay/neuter surgeries charged by various feral cat clinics — sometimes close to $50 for each cat — but here were still so many cats left in the areas where I was trapping in the City of Rochester and in the Victor-Farmington area. I had also set up my no-kill haven for feral and homeless cats, so I had expenses involved in maintaining those cats and facilities. Presently, I am feeding about 150 cats at my haven and my own feral cat feeding stations. I was so very fortunate that someone suggested that I call the Friends of Ferals program. Am I ever glad that I did, because the program is affordable and very professional.
Why do you focus your giving on the Feral Cat Program?
I wonder if people not involved with feral/homeless cats can imagine the suffering endured by these wonderful creatures. These sad situations include the cute kitten thrown out when it reaches maturity; the family pet abandoned by former owners who move; kittens thrown out of moving cars; free kittens and cats often used as bait for fighting dogs or food for snakes. The lucky ones find their way to feeding stations set up by kind people who don’t have the funds to spay/neuter. You can imagine the population explosion that can follow. I know that our helping these people is often a drop in the bucket, but it is an important drop if it causes less suffering.
How is RHFP different from other animal nonprofits in the Rochester area?
The Rochester Hope for Pets Friends of Ferals program runs with an entirely volunteer veterinary staff, so that the cost to the clients is kept lower. The voluntary donations made by people who bring in the cats help to solely cover the cost of supplies. It’s affordable to support as many as 10 cats at a Friends of Ferals clinic, especially if some of the caregivers are unable to help pay for the service themselves. The staff also checks over the condition of the cats and may administer an antibiotic or recommend further care.
What one message about RHFP might you want readers of this profile to learn/remember?
The feral cat population in Rochester alone has been out of control for years. They can be found on every street and at just about every dumpster. We know that TNR — a term used nationally to describe the trap/neuter/release process for feral cats — is the best solution to control the population. Friends of Ferals deserves the support of animal lovers who wish to aid this very neglected part of the animal population.