Conquer the Colony - TNR Rescue Effort

Conquer the Colony - TNR Rescue Effort

From Erin Hartman

We are raising money to support the TNR (trap-neuter-return) efforts of a local cat colony. The colony has around 25 cats & is reproducing. We are partnering with low-cost spay and neuter clinics to fix the animals.

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Recent Updates

Update #15

3 months ago

Good Evening!

We've reached our first milestone: Our first donation drive is ending tonight!

It's crazy to imagine that we started out hopeful, optimistic, and a bit clueless just two months ago. We've now trapped 25 cats and counting and are fostering 12 kittens for future adoption. Though we can't quantify how many lives this has saved, we are incredibly happy with our progress. We have been continuously humbled by your support. This little idea turned into a big project overnight.

Thank you for taking this journey with us. Please know that your donations have meant the world to us and this colony of cats! You've helped save lives. We've learned so much in the last couple of months. There have been tears of joy and tears of frustration along the way. I never imagined what we would be embarking on when this was just a wish and an idea.

As we begin our next phase of trapping and fostering, I'm really excited to share this end cap with you!

Remember our first trap? We began to lovingly call him "Evander" due to his lack of ear. He was badly bruised and bleeding when we found him. He was trapped, neutered, and at the clinic recovering ever since. Well, we released him yesterday morning! He's back at the colony, happy as heck to be out of the clinic!

What a perfect ending to our first chapter!! We aren't done yet! We are trapping this week and working with our fosters! Stay tuned for more updates!

More Info

Hello! Thank you for checking out our campaign!

Let's start where it began. It started with the discovery of a sweet kitten wandering around alone by trucking garage. On a random Thursday, my mother sent me a picture of an adorable tortie kitten sitting on her desk. As a life-long cat lady, I knew this kitten would need care since she had come from a colony. I also knew she wasn't the only one. 

I had decided I would foster this kitten, making the necessary vet appointments, and created a plan for her. As adorable as kittens are, I also knew that about half born in colonies die. I had this information and I wasn't able to sit back and do nothing. I joined the Homeless Cat Management group on Facebook looking for any TNR efforts in the area. TNR stands for "trap neuter return". The act of TNR is to trap the cats, sterilize them, and return them back to their home. (More resources attached below) I met someone who actually knew of the colony. The problem was that neither of us had actually trapped before. It took some time, but after her research and networking, a plan was finally put in place.

During this time, another kitten was found. This kitten was even smaller, meaning it was from a different litter all together, and it had a serious eye infection. At this point, this solidified what we knew all along: there was a major cat problem.

Establishing a trapping plan is when we learned exactly how many cats lived in this colony. At this moment, there are about 25, including some kittens. There aren't many kittens left as they have likely perished. 

We are very motivated to trap the cats and sterilize them so the population does not continue to grow. Any cats that can be socialized and fostered will be found homes. We are working with local low-cost spay and neuter clinics. However, the costs can get pretty high when you're dealing with so many cats. We are seeking assistance with our TNR efforts. TNR doesn't just help with limiting cat populations, it also aids in the safety of the cats. Intact males in colonies are often aggressive and territorial. The cats are already showing their battle wounds. During the first sweep, a severely injured male was discovered. (His picture above) He is currently receiving the care he needs.

Spays are $51.

Neuters are $33.

We are accepting donations of all denominations, the prices on the "giving level" sides are not the only option. Click the "Donate Now" button at the bottom of the page. Any bit helps!

All of your donations will go to the spaying, neutering, and other costs associated with these efforts. Any leftover money will go to a local clinic to pay forward for future TNR efforts. 

We are also asking for donations of pee pads, canned cat food, old towels, and blankets. Again, any excess will be donated to local rescues.

Donors who cover a spay or neuter will be entered to win cat-themed prizes as a thank you! 

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @ConquerTheColony

If you'd like more information on TNR, please check out some of the resources below. Thank you for taking the time to read our story!

https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/closer-look-community-cats

https://www.neighborhoodcats.org/how-to-tnr/getting-started/what-is-tnr

https://www.alleycat.org/our-work/trap-neuter-return/

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Erin Hartman posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #15

Good Evening!

We've reached our first milestone: Our first donation drive is ending tonight!

It's crazy to imagine that we started out hopeful, optimistic, and a bit clueless just two months ago. We've now trapped 25 cats and counting and are fostering 12 kittens for future adoption. Though we can't quantify how many lives this has saved, we are incredibly happy with our progress. We have been continuously humbled by your support. This little idea turned into a big project overnight.

Thank you for taking this journey with us. Please know that your donations have meant the world to us and this colony of cats! You've helped save lives. We've learned so much in the last couple of months. There have been tears of joy and tears of frustration along the way. I never imagined what we would be embarking on when this was just a wish and an idea.

As we begin our next phase of trapping and fostering, I'm really excited to share this end cap with you!

Remember our first trap? We began to lovingly call him "Evander" due to his lack of ear. He was badly bruised and bleeding when we found him. He was trapped, neutered, and at the clinic recovering ever since. Well, we released him yesterday morning! He's back at the colony, happy as heck to be out of the clinic!

What a perfect ending to our first chapter!! We aren't done yet! We are trapping this week and working with our fosters! Stay tuned for more updates!

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Erin Hartman posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #14

Today was a big day in a few ways!

First, our gorgeous Siamese lady went back to the colony this morning. Upon her trapping, we thought she may be suitable for home living, but she wasn’t having it! Some cats just want to go back to what they know. She was spayed and put back to her preferred home. We will miss her beautiful face, but I’m sure we will see (and feed!) her during our future trapping adventures.

Second, we are seven days from our Fundly closing! We’ve had great success and thank you for your support. That doesn’t mean we aren’t still taking donations. Beyond the spays, shots, and neuters, we pay out of pocket for all of our fostering expenses. We also are still taking material donations like towels, blankets, cat toys, food, litter, etc! Don’t forget about our new Amazon wishlist: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1UQQN5G5LL6LK

Third, we will be making winter shelters for community cats. Look for updates on this project soon!

Continue to follow us on Instagram and Facebook at @ConquerTheColony

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Erin Hartman posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #13

Happy Friday... the 13th!

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Erin Hartman posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #12

When we aren’t trapping, transporting, or rehabbing cats... we are fostering kittens! We have five that will be ready for adoption soon!

They’re all fall-ready with their coat colors.

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Erin Hartman posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #11

Happy Friday!

We wrapped up the week with five more catches: a beautiful siamese, another sweet tortie, and three more black kittens! That is eight total this week!

Our Fundly campaign ends in 19 days. Since we are nearing the end of our first campaign, I'd like to share some fast facts on what we have been able to accomplish:

Days Trapping: 40
Cats Trapped: 25
Kittens in Foster: 12
(Yes, almost HALF of our catches are in foster and will be adoptable soon!)
Neuters to Date: 8
Spays to Date: 9
Kittens Soon to be Fixed: 8 (*currently too small for surgery)
Polydactyls: 6
Torties: 5
Siamese Cats/Flame Points: 3
Black Cats: 10
Ginger Cats: 7

Despite exceeding our original monetary goal, we had only anticipated 25 cats total. We now know that the colony number is much higher and we still have our eyes set on more kittens and pregnant cats. The work never ends, so we are still taking donations of all kinds!

We appreciate everyone that has donated thus far. You've truly impacted the lives of many cats. Thank you for allowing us to continue our passion project of helping these animals. We are working to continue and fund our efforts so that we may continue to conquer the colony.

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Erin Hartman posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #10

Good Evening!

We capped off the long weekend with a successful night of trapping. We caught a larger alpha male we'd never seen before. We think he may be a direct contributor to all of the kitten making.

We expanded our search this evening and moved to a new location. We discovered six kittens that appear to be around six weeks old. We were able to trap two of them and will be back for the others!

These kittens were new to us, so they are in addition to the other set of kittens we have been trying to trap. The work is never done at this colony!

Thank you for the recent material and monetary donations. Every bit goes to the cats! Don't forget to give us a follow on Instagram and Facebook at @ConquerTheColony

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Erin Hartman posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #9

I don’t know if #KittenFriday is a thing, but it is today!

I know we generally share a lot about the tough reality of cat colonies, but it’s Friday. Not just any Friday, but the last long weekend of the summer. I would like to put a smile on everyone’s face today. What better way than adorable pics of one of our recent kitten catches?!?

This little ginger baby is currently in foster and will be adoptable soon!

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Erin Hartman posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #8

It's #FeralTuesday and we have colony updates!

This week has already been a rush! Last night, we trapped two very feisty males. They were neutered today at the Spay Neuter Clinic: Pittsburgh - North Hills and will be returned to the colony tomorrow. I have a feeling they will be happy to go home.

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Erin Hartman posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #7

Good Evening!

I'm pleased to deliver some positivity to the middle of your week!

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Erin Hartman posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #6

Trapping ain’t easy, but it’s necessary...

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Erin Hartman posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #5

We wrapped up #InternationalCatDay with a couple of wins.

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Erin Hartman posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #4

Hello!

The verdict is in: our catches from last night ended up being two males and one female. Everyone is currently resting and recovering with Elizabeth. Tomorrow, the tortie and the orange cat will be returned to the colony. When we picked up the cats, we found that the tortie was pregnant. That’s now two pregnant females we’ve picked up. That would have easily lead to at least another 10 cats in this colony. Our work is already paying off.

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Erin Hartman posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #3

Tonight was another successful night of trapping. We came home with a beautiful polydactyl tortie, a handsome orange, and a little black kitten that we think is injured.

These three will be off to get fixed tomorrow morning. The kitten will be examined for any injury and will go on to be fostered.

It's heartbreaking to see these gorgeous animals living on the streets. I am glad we are doing our best to limit the number of cats living outside.

Today we collected a ton of blankets and towels, they were immediately put to use! Thank you to everyone for donating materials. We are always looking for old blankets, towels, wet cat food, garbage bags, and cardboard.

Please consider donating to our fund. The more injured cats and kittens we find, the higher the costs end up being. Every cent goes to saving lives!

Don't forget to follow us on Instagram at @conquerthecolony

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Erin Hartman posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #2

Good Evening!

I can't believe I have another update so quickly! We were lucky enough to get three spay/neuter spots with Animal Friends. Kelly and Elizabeth lept into action and got trapping tonight! They were lucky - again - to trap three more cats. Tonight's cats are adult cats that will be fixed tomorrow and returned back to the colony.

The successful trapping efforts combined with our incredible donors are leaving me incredibly energized. The trapping team and your contributions are nothing but encouraging. Thank you so much for going on this journey with us! We are only $170 away from being halfway to our goal! Our campaign has only been in flight for less than a week. Our hearts are warm with your support!

In addition to monetary support, we've also been receiving donations of food, towels, and blankets. Shout out to all of our material supporters!! Trapped cats are generally quite stressed - your donations help ease that transition and keep them comfortable!

We are six cats into about twenty-five. Though we are excited about our progress, we still have a long way to go. Please consider donating towards the sterilization or materials. We are looking for wet food, pee pads, Clorox wipes, cardboard, paper, towels, etc.

Before I sign off, I have more good news regarding the kittens from yesterday! They are currently getting cozy and acclimated to their foster home. They're on the mend from yesterday's surgeries and looking forward to their forever homes!

As always, thank you for reading and contributing!

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Erin Hartman posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #1

Hello! Happy Monday!

First, thank you to everyone who has supported our TNR effort so far! We are now 25% of our goal! That is AMAZING!! THANK YOU!! This was incredibly encouraging and set the tone for our first trapping effort!

Second, today day began with our first round of trapping. For this round, we had chosen to use the Allison Park Spay and Neuter Clinic. This is a local, low-cost spay/neuter clinic that takes three walk-ins a day. Since we knew we could bring up to three cats, we naturally set our goal to trap three cats. We were lucky to achieve our goal and trap three kittens!

Since we captured kittens, the plan is to have the kittens fostered and found forever homes. So these guys will not be returned to the colony. They are currently at the clinic undergoing spay/neuter, receiving shots, flea/worm care and are being tested for FIV/FeLV.

Though we are beyond happy about getting three cats that are fosterable, these cats, unfortunately, cost a bit more than cats being returned to the colony. So please keep those donations coming, every bit helps!

Thank you for reading and have a great week!

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