Truth or Consequences, NM- Companion Animal Action Team (CAAT) is a small, non-profit group formed in 2014 to help promote the spay/neuter of pets and education of humane animal treatment. CAAT hosts low to no cost spay/neuter and shot clinics for residents of T. or C. and surrounding areas. They also host fundraising events such as FurFest, as they rely solely on donations from the community to fund these clinics. CAAT’s purpose is to decrease the amount of euthanasia carried out on healthy, adoptable animals with the eventual goal of making Sierra County a no-kill community (CAAT, 2016).
The treasurer of CAAT, Genna Scartaccini, explained that to decrease the euthanasia of healthy animals, their first order of business is to ensure that residents of Sierra County are educated about the necessity of spaying and neutering their pets. She pointed out that per the CAAT website, one female cat and one female dog, can produce over 400,000 and 67,000 offspring respectively, in only six years (CAAT, 2016). Most of those have a high chance of ending up euthanized.
The group also promotes adoption from the local shelter, which euthanized over 400 healthy and adoptable dogs and cats just last year alone. Healthy, well behaved animals end up in shelters all the time for various reasons, including divorce, the birth of a baby, a lack of commitment on the part of the pet owners, and people moving and abandoning their animals. If adopted these animals, more often than not, end up making the most loyal and loving family pets. Another perk of adopting a shelter animal is that they come already spayed/neutered, fully vaccinated, and eager to please their new families who have given them a second chance at a happy life.
CAAT also organizes TNR’s (trap, neuter, release) for the feral cat populations in T. or C. During a TNR, feral cats are trapped, taken in and spayed/neutered, and then released back into the area that they were found in. This ensures that they cannot breed, and also ensures that other groups of breeding feral cats will not move into their territory. If done often enough, TNR programs drastically reduce the population of feral cats, which are largely caused by pet owners failure to spay/neuter or contain their pets.
The pointless suffering and deaths of so many animals could be prevented by just responsibly spaying/neutering pets; this is what the members of CAAT work so hard to make happen. The community can help by supporting CAAT, volunteering, donating or attending fundraisers, and above all, adopt pets from the local shelters and make sure current family pets are spayed/neutered as early as possible.
For more information, visit the groups website at http://www.caatnm.org/