On Monday morning, the campus received a mass email regarding the sighting of stray cats on campus. Messiah College Animal Alliance sponsored the email; the club intends to locate as many of the cats as possible to implement a sequence called TNR: trap, neuter, return.
According to forallanimals.org, TNR is a procedure in which “community cats are humanely trapped, sterilized by a veterinarian, vaccinated against rabies, ear tipped, and returned to the trapping location.”
There are two types of stray cats: feral and domestic. Feral refers to a cat that can survive comfortably without the care of humans. Many feral cats are not social with humans and will not respond to calls. For this reason, they are returned to their feral home after receiving veterinary attention. On the other hand, domestic housecats cannot live comfortably without the care of humans. A house cat is much more likely to respond to a call and can be put up for adoption upon rescue.
Animal Alliance is not a new group to the Messiah community. According to President Yana Avdeenko, ‘20, the Animal Alliance existed previously for some time before its leading members graduated.
A group of animal-loving students and their advisor, Spanish Professor Gladys Robalino, brought the club back to life last November. They plan to partner with local humane societies, host volunteer days, and providing the campus with education about animal welfare and emotional support animals.
“I joined the Messiah Animal Alliance because my passion is to care for animals in need, and to spread awareness about domestic animal welfare and how to help out in the community,” said Amber Walker, ‘21.
“Together we can do more for animals than I can do alone. We have an opportunity to all learn from each other and support each other,” said Avdeenko.
Any sighting of stray cats can be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org. If students are interested in joining the Animal Alliance, they can also attend any event or meeting.