Mahalo to Barbara Bennet and ForKaua’i magazine for publishing a letter (see below) written by KCCP President, Basil Scott, in response to her editorial column titled, “What Are We Going To Do With Kauai’s Feral Cats?”
Kauai Community Cat Project: 2016 Our Best Year Yet!
Kauai Community Cat Project, KCCP, is a small non-profit supporting Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and cat rescue. TNR is a way to reduce cat populations in areas outside of sensitive wildlife habitats. KCCP also rescues adoptable cats and kittens that have been abandoned or born outdoors.
After years of increasing activity, KCCP’s Board of Directors had planned for a steady year in 2016. The Board thought KCCP was near its max and that this would be a year focused on solidifying funding and improving efficiency.
That’s not what happened!
Instead 2016 was the biggest year ever. The growth in numbers of cats helped was over 30% compared to 2015. This was after three years of 20% plus growth. We are on pace for helping almost 900 cats in 2016. Now, our long-term goal of helping 1000 cats per year seems achievable in 2017.
The effect of TNR is cumulative. Each TNR project creates a tiny island of declining homeless cat population. Over time, more and more of these exist. As these “islands” increasingly connect together, Kauai will reach a tipping point where the island-wide population of stray and homeless cats will decrease at 10% to 15% per year.
TNR is already reducing the homeless cat population and cat impacts more than all (lethal) cat removal activities combined, including those by State and Federal Agencies and by the Kauai Humane Society.
KCCP also had a banner year for rescuing and adopting cats. This year we’ll adopt over 300, which is a 100% increase over 2015. About 1/3rd of these cats travelled to the mainland as part of our Wings For Whiskers program. Tourists adopted others while they visited here and then took them home – KCCP helps cat lovers like this with all the details. We tell tourists that a cat or kitten is the best Kauai memento they can have! But most rescued cats were adopted right here on Kauai.
To put these adoption numbers in perspective, Kauai Humane Society, with a total budget that’s about 20x times larger than KCCP’s, has adopted just over 300 cats for each of the last three years. KCCP projects 310 adoptions for 2016.
All of this is good news, but we have a long way to go. This year, we’ve worked with hundreds of people. But, there were too many times when we couldn’t help because we were limited by available funds and volunteers.
Our business model is different. We are not a government agency that you call, and we show up and take care of the cats. Instead, KCCP helps people take responsibility directly. We don’t do it for you; we help you do it. We provide support with advice, by helping financially, or by loaning traps. We’ll show you how to trap. We believe that enlisting the community in the effort is the only way to solve the problem of too many homeless cats.
Mahalo for supporting KCCP and Kauai’s community cats!
Basil Scott, KCCP President