Friends of TNR volunteers are used to scrounging and scratching for funds to help abandoned and feral cats in the region. It’s one of their biggest challenges… that and the need for foster homes.
TNR stands for trap, neuter and release, a method of humanely trapping unaltered feral cats, spaying or neutering them, and returning them to the location where they were collected.
Because it is very difficult to tame an adult feral cat into a house pet, TNR is sometimes the best solution.
Rowena d’Entremont is known as the Cat Lady in West Pubnico. It’s a label she wears with pride. She became a member of Friends after spending time with founder Jackie Dubois, and Kendra MacIsaac, and joining them in their mission of searching out cat colonies at local wharves and helping other cats and kittens in need.
As a former registered nurse, she says even though she doesn’t take care of people anymore, she just can’t stop caring.
“This is part of me. I’ve always loved cats,” she said.
Through their efforts, homes have been found for hundreds of cats and kittens since 2011 and the spaying and neutering of 150 cats has been accomplished.
D’Entremont says they have had a “fair amount of success” by placing cats and kittens available for adoption on Kijiji. She has found that Halifax area residents adopt the most. All are interviewed prior to receiving their cat or kitten. Few cats are adopted locally.
Friends of TNR hear many stories of abandoned, cold and hungry cats. Some are so famished they have even resorted to eating birdseed. She has found kittens on a beach beneath an umbrella and in the engine room of a lobster boat.
Educating the next generation on the importance of spaying and neutering is something she believes strongly in.
Last year she took a box of kittens to the Pubnico Elementary School and spoke to Grades 5 and 6.
“It has to start somewhere,” she said.
Friends of TNR is in the process of becoming a registered not-for-profit group.
D’Entremont says the group, which numbers fewer than half a dozen men and women, is overrun, and stretched at trapping, fostering, and fundraising.
She has four cats of her own and is fostering several.
In addition to other challenges, the Friends had to battle an entirely different foe connected with a “catnap inn” they had set up at Dennis Point Wharf last winter.
They had trapped, spayed and neutered 15-20 cats at the wharf but noticed over time that there was less activity around the shelter.
Raccoons had moved in and were eating the food. So instead of cats, the group began trapping raccoons – eventually relocating over 30 to a remote location along Highway 103. The feeding station for cats was moved away from the shelter.
“I think it worked because we’re not seeing any raccoon tracks anymore but there’s also a bird of prey that hunts around the wharf,” said d’Entremont.
Only one cat has returned to the Dennis Point Wharf catnap inn. Another shelter at Abbott’s Harbour has remained raccoon-free so far.
Friends of TNR are in need of donations, volunteers and foster homes. If you can help or require more information contact Rowena d’Entremont at 902-762-2916 or
Kendra MacIsaac at 902-742-3137.