A Norfolk resident who has been working with us to control the community cat population in her neighborhood sent the following email to Mayor Fraim:
Dear Mayor Fraim:
I am writing to express my support for Spay Hampton Roads, a project
of the nonprofit Animal Rescue of Tidewater. As recently mentioned in
The Virginian Pilot, Spay Hampton Roads offers free sterilization of
free-roaming animals and house pets in certain low-income
neighborhoods of Norfolk. The program is funded primarily through
grants and donations and uses PETA’s SNIP-Mobile, the Norfolk SPCA and
the Virginia Beach SPCA Neuter Scooter.
SpayHR has been a lifesaver for my neighborhood! I have been living
in the Estabrook section of Norfolk for almost four years now. Soon
after moving in, I discovered that there was a large number of feral
cats who roamed freely in the neighborhood, and they were rapidly
multiplying in number. The first summer after I moved in, a female
feral had a litter of six kittens in the crawlspace of my house, and
after making several phone calls to different rescue agencies in the
area to find out what to do with them, it was apparent that the cat
population in Norfolk was overwhelming, and the local shelters were
filled to the brim. I learned that the only solution to my dilemma
was to try to foster the kittens until they could be adopted, and to
try to trap the mother cat so she could be spayed and vaccinated. I
did so, and paid out of pocket for all of the veterinary care for the
the cats. As you can imagine, it was an expensive venture which set
me back several hundred dollars.
In the process of fostering the six kittens, I was lucky enough to be
put in contact with many other rescue agencies, foster families, and
volunteers in our area. I was amazed to hear their stories and
discover that not only was my neighborhood overrun with feral cats,
but so were many, many other neighborhoods, not just in Norfolk, but
all over the Tidewater area.
Eventually I was put in contact with SpayHR, and I learned that they
would pay for the cats in my neighborhood to be neutered/spayed and
vaccinated. This was wonderful news to me and to my neighbors as
well, as all of us were concerned about the cat issue, but none of us
knew where to turn.
As a result of the SpayHR initiative, at least a dozen cats from my
neighborhood have been sterilized and vaccinated in the past couple of
months alone. Two rescued kittens are in the process of being
fostered and will eventually be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and
adopted when they are old enough. Several kittens have already been
successfully adopted as a result of SpayHR’s help.
Now the local business owners who have been feeding this colony of
cats have been made aware of the program and are cooperating with the
trapping efforts as well. For the first time since I moved to this
neighborhood, there is hope and help for the management of this very
large colony of cats. Without SpayHR, these cats would continue to
reproduce, fight amongst themselves over territory and mates, and be
forced to scavenge for food as their numbers increased. I am so
grateful and excited that this program exists, and I offer my complete
support for its continued success!
Thank you for what your office is doing to support this valuable
program, and thank you for taking the time to read this letter.
* to protect the writer’s privacy, we’ve only included initials