The Osborn Island Trap Neuter Release Program (OITNR) was organized to humanely reduce the feral cat population on Osborn Island by preventing future litters and improving the health and well being of the existing colony.
OITNR started in July 2013 when a few Osborn Island Residents, aware of an increasing feral cat population on Osborn Island, came together to make a difference for
these animals. Thanks to donations from residents and the volunteer efforts,
the potential for future feral population growth has dramatically decreased. As of October 7, 2015, 140 cats have been humanely trapped by our volunteers, transported to a spay/neuter clinic, that offers discounted neutering, then returned to their original colony to live out a happier healthier life. So far more than 30 kittens have been successfully placed in homes.
In 2013 we spayed/neutered over 50 kittens. I am happy to report that this year (2015) we only had 3 kittens born on the island. Two of the kittens were found young enough to be fostered and adopted and their mom was spayed and returned to her colony. The third kitten was spayed, vaccinated and returned to her colony.
We work closely and have the support of Alley Cat Allies, which is a national foundation that has successfully reduced the feral cat population at the Atlantic City Boardwalk. There have been no kittens born on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City in 10 years now. Thanks to them for all of their advice and counsel in helping make our project successful.
SURELY WE CAN'T SAVE THE WORLD BY SAVING ONE ANIMAL, BUT OH HOW THE WORLD WILL CHANGE FOR THAT ONE SAVED ANIMAL.
AUGUST 20,2014 AFTER FOUR MONTHS OF PATIENTLY SITTING WITH A DROP TRAP MANY DAYS AND NIGHTS, WE FINALLY GOT THE LAST OF THE ONLY 3 KITTENS BORN ON THE ISLAND SINCE THE PROJECT STARTED IN JULY OF 2013. IT TOOK 6 HOURS OF SITTING IN THE WOODS THIS PAST WEDNESDAY, IN THE DARK, WAITING FOR THIS LITTLE GUY TO BE BRAVE ENOUGH AND HUNGRY ENOUGH TO COME OUT AND EAT UNDER THE DROP TRAP.
JUNE 16, 2014. THIS LITTLE TORTIE GIRL IS PART OF A LITTER OF THREE, WHICH TO OUR KNOWLEDGE ARE THE ONLY THREE KITTENS BORN ON THE ISLAND THIS SPRING. IT HAS TAKEN 7 WEEKS OF PATIENTLY COAXING AND WAITING FOR THESE THREE KITTENS TO GO INTO THE TRAP. TWO WEEKS AGO WE GOT ONE OF HER SISTERS AND THIS WEEK, FINALLY WAS HER TURN. WE HAVE ONE MORE KITTEN TO GO AND THEN THE HARD PART OF TRAPPING THE MOM AND DAD SO THERE WON'T BE ANYMORE LITTERS.
THESE CATS ARE VERY TRAP SHY AND WE WENT GREAT LENGTHS TO GET THEM. WEEK AFTER WEEK WE SAT THERE WATCHING TRAPS, TRYING TO TRICK THEM INTO GOING IN BY COAXING WITH TUNA, SARDINES, CHICKEN AND CAT TREATS. WE EVEN COVERED THE TRAP WITH A CARDBOARD BOX TO CAMOUFLAGE IT. BRANCHES HAD TO BE CUT AWAY WHERE WE PUT THE TRAPS SO THERE WAS ENOUGH ROOM TO LOWER THE TRAP BY ROPE TO WHERE THEY WERE USED TO EATING. WE FINALLY GOT THIS LITTLE GIRL IN THE DROP TRAP.
WE ARE HARD PRESSED TO COME UP WITH NEW IDEAS ON HOW TO TRAP THE LAST KITTEN AND THE MOM AND DAD, BUT WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES IN ORDER FOR THEM TO HAVE A BETTER LIFE WITHOUT HAVING LITTER AFTER LITTER.
SOME OF THE CATS IN ONE OF OUR COLONIES
ALL HAVE BEEN SPAYED/NEUTERED AND VACCINATED.
TRAPPING IN THE SANCTUARY WAS INTERESTING. WHILE WE WERE WATCHING THE TRAPS WE HAVE BEAUTIFUL DEER WATCHING US.
THIS IS OUR NEW DROP TRAP. IT IS REMINISCENT OF SOMETHING FROM A BUGS BUNNY OR ROADRUNNER CARTOON WITH A BOX, A STICK AND A ROPE. AMAZINGLY ENOUGH, IT WORKS GREAT FOR THOSE CATS THAT REFUSE TO GO INTO OUR REGULAR TRAPS. THE ONLY DOWNSIDE IS YOU MAY HAVE TO STAND PERFECTLY STILL FOR HOURS IN THE COLD, RAIN OR HEAT WAITING FOR THE CAT BE LURED INTO IT IN ORDER TO PULL THE ROPE.
HERE ARE PEACHES AND TUXEDO GIRL OUT IN THE RARE WARMTH OF THE SUN THIS BRUTAL WINTER. THANKFULLY ALL IN THE COLONY HAVE MADE IT THROUGH THE WINTER AND ARE DOING WELL.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2014. OUR NEW CAT CROSSING SIGN. HOPEFULLY PEOPLE WILL SLOW DOWN AND WE WON'T HAVE ANY MORE CASUALTIES.
March 31, 2014. Unfortunately someone has already stolen our sign. But, this will not deter us. There will be a new, bigger and higher sign installed soon.
APRIL 2, 2014. FINALLY THE WEATHER HAS CO-OPERATED AND TRAPPING HAS RESUMED. FOUR CATS WERE TRAPPED TODAY AND SENT FOR SPAYING, NEUTERING AND RABIES SHOTS. WHEN CATS ARE TRAPPED THEY ARE IMMEDIATELY COVERED TO KEEP THEM CALM IN THE TRAP AND PLACED IN A SECURE ROOM OVERNIGHT UNTIL THEY ARE TRANSPORTED THE NEXT MORNING TO OUR SPAY/NEUTER CLINIC. THEY WILL ALSO RECOVER IN THIS ROOM AFTER SURGERY. THEY ARE THEN RELEASED WHERE THEY WERE TRAPPED IN AN ENVIRONMENT THAT THEY ARE FAMILIAR WITH SO THEY ARE ABLE TO FIND FOOD AND WATER.
APRIL 10, 2014. TODAY WE PUT UP A NEW, BIGGER AND TALLER SIGN. THIS TIME WE USED LOCK WASHERS AND SPLAYED THE BOLTS TO HELP PREVENT SOMEONE FROM STEALING IT LIKE THE LAST ONE.
MAY 7, 2014 SADLY, ONCE AGAIN OUR SIGN WAS STOLEN. THIS TIME THEY TOOK THE POST AND ALL.
PART OF MAINTAINING A COLONY OF FERAL CATS IS TO PROVIDE SHELTER FROM THE COLD AND SNOW AND RAIN. PLASTIC STORAGE CONTAINERS FILLED WITH STRAW MAKE GREAT SHELTERS INEXPENSIVELY. TWICE A YEAR THE SHELTERS ARE TAKEN APART, THE STRAW IS REMOVED AND THE CONTAINERS ARE THOROUGHLY CLEANED. THEN THEY ARE PUT BACK TOGETHER, FILLED WITH NEW STRAW AND RETURNED TO THE COLONY SITE.