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The Trailer Colony Rescue
By chance, around August 2013, I came across this local Tucson area trailer park, and saw some cats running loose. So I thought there may be a few abandoned ones. Came to discover that; Ron (living in one of the trailers) had been feeding some, as had a few of the others at the park, that the trailer park was going to be torn down soon (had started) , and that others at the park had already moved out. I felt so sad for this group colony of cats that had at least some shelter, living under the trailers, and getting some food and water. I had to do something !!!! This colony would certainly get scattered and likely be taken by coyotes, the desert, etc...
Ron seemed to think maybe there were 6 or 8 cats in the group he has seen. Nobody spayed or neutered any of them .They had been there for about 10 years or more. Many, Many died from Coyotes or sickness. So it did not seem to be such a big burden to add to the rescues I already had. My goal became to save the colony, before all the trailers would be torn down. So I decided to build them a new Colony Cottage and Enclosure at my home. While I was building the sanctuary I would go visit the cats and bring better food for them. Well, as the Trailer Colony Rescue went on, eventually rescued 25 scared and hungry beauties. The trailers were being torn down one by one, I actually paid the tear down crew a little extra to hold on one of the last trailers until we got the last one trapped. The saga took around 6 months. many nights on watch, and some tearful and wonderful moments. I was mostly alone in this. Ron an older man who had been feeding the cats for years helped set traps in the beginning and did bring about 6 cats to me when they went into the traps, some in the middle of the night. I also recruited help from Debbie a local TNR to help on trapping/neuter, plus a couple of other local trapping specialist.
Finally we got them all, and in the mean time had a colony cottage and top line fencing enclosure built specific for this colony. They now have a new safe home. The sacrifice and effort was worth it, but work still continued; getting them fixed and medical check up, some of these ferals do not want to go easily. I have to bring in a VetTech Becky to help capture on Vet visit days, plus the food, AC and icepak cooling, etc .
These cats are only a lucky few of unwanted cats that roam our country. Many could be helped and are being helped by Trap, Neuter and Release programs. This stops more kittens from being born and the cats are allowed back into there area to live out there lives.
I am a single women who took on a mission to save this colony. These cats now have a home and good food and safety. By sharing the lives of the animals I took in , I hope that the story's will inspire you to help as many as you can. To help in which ever way you can, the unlucky one's.
I intend to keep the animals I have in my care. In the future when I have a farm, I will be able to give them a big backyard. I do not have the funds to build a large fence for them . But maybe one day. Or as a Half way house, for the ferals, that can become human friendly and hope to find a new loving home for them.
Some of the cats are feral and may not have the disposition for domestic life. I will continue to work with them to bring them to a more relaxed and trusting disposition. But, they have a right in my sanctuary to be cage free and a right to a life free from danger.
Some pictures and stories of each below ....
The trailer that I paid to keep up. Mercy was at the end living under it.
Coyotes and wild pigs almost got him one night. I put boards all around it. I did happen to trap a baby Javelina one night, but let him out quickly.
Found another picture I forgot I had. This is where we were trapping the cats. Debbie and I set up a other trap also .
Just disgusting place for these poor cats no one cared about, At least the old man in this trailer fed them.Picture taken when we were trying hard to catch Mercy. The last one. Mercy was a 2 week difficult ordeal
Stories and pictures of the rescued beauties below. Some were fairly easy while others were lengthy and stresfull. But all worth it. !!! They are now safe, reunited colony with their friends, and in a loving home.
The first day was easy....one friendly boy which I named Angel came into my arms, Aug 2013.. I took him home and the next day off to the vet. Then brought him into my home and he fit in well with the other rescues I had. So he has stayed.
<< Pic Angel at Rescue
The next 2 cats Becky and Oscar I trapped the next day. Becky was pregnant. Both were fixed the next day. Becky needed a safe recovery room. I kept her quiet for 5 days while she recovered. This helped her to become friendly and trust me.
<<< Pic Becky recovering from major spaying.
Over the next few months I would trap a cat each week. I must mention that I used a safe trap called "Havaheart", so no injury ever happened. Each week I had a vet apt and each cat was vetted. I called Tina Diane a trapper for help. She trapped 4 cats that night and we loaded her car up and she took them to the Humane Society the next day for spaying/neutering. .I was planning on keeping all the 4 cats. I went to pick them up and take them home. She came with me to see the kitty house and was delighted how the mommy and her kitten went to lie on there beds and looked to content.
Bruno .. Sadly was lost. Hope he/she found a good safe home.
By the end of 6 months most of the trailers were down. The one were the cats lived remained half way up due to me paying for time in order to trap the last remaining cat. Mercy the Himalayan had become trap shy. A month before I hired a professional trapper, Mark from Animal Experts,because there were 2 other cats who would not go into a trap. We put up a large cattery trap and I sat for a week in the trailer with a rope and waited for the 2, which I named Adam and Eve. I finally got them.
After Adam and Eve were rescued, with trailers coming down around Ron's place, a big surprise this large fluffy cat shows up in the trap. And Noah got rescued and re-discovered his Colony buddies at The Sanctuary .
<< Pic of Noah safe now in the Cabin.
Snowy, was a never seen before beauty, was running around the almost empty trailer area and next door, crying and frantic. Just walked into the trap, I guess looking for help. A great result.
Snowy Story and More Pics
Even Mercy went in the Cattery Trap, but as I pulled the rope he got out. I tried a drop trap then without success. Tried a dog trap with fancy bait, no luck. Mercy had lived under another trailer and now that only one was left I had to focus every night to get him soon. I only had 2 weeks left. At that time my friend, Debbie Cornel came and helped. I and her sat from 6-9pm every night and she sat sometimes all night or until 12 am. This lasted 10 days. Finally on the last night he went in to our amazement and shock. We jumped up and down for joy. Finally it was over. I had them all .
Mercy. The last of them. He is feral, but worth every tear and prayer.
<< Mercy after rescue, now settled in nicely with his friends.
he beautiful part of this endeavor was to watch each cat as they came to there new home. They would greet each friend with kisses. They are a tight colony. They love to sleep all together and play with each other. The sad part of this is I lost 2 kittens. They disappeared. But I did save a mother with her 2 kittens....I wonder if she is sad that her 2 other kittens are gone?
I ended up bringing 5 from the colony into my home. Ziggy was very sick with Stomatitis. Mommy had 2 , 2 week old kittens to nurse, Angel and Peanut are friendly and did not seem to be part of the colony. Out of 25 cats 3 cats were already fixed, so I presume they had a home at one point. But were either lost or abandoned.
Rescue is worth it. I did what I could. To see that they are now safe makes me happy.
Please consider helping even one cat or dog have a home.
Oscar and Hilde and her baby Oliver.There life is now safe and relaxed.
Ron, from the Trailer Park, who fed and cared for many of the Colony for years, came to visit with Angel. Jan15