Tiskilwa partnered with Safe House Animal Rescue League to start a Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) program at the beginning of the 2023 year. So far, 29 community cats have been assisted. Of those 29 cats 13 were female and it is a safe assumption that if spaying had not occurred all 13 would have been pregnant today with reproduction of approximately 60 to 80 kittens being born in the next few weeks. In addition to the spaying/neutering, all these cats received rabies and FVCRP vaccinations, as well as their ears tipped for identification purposes. Several that were trapped were ill with upper respiratory infection, one had an ear polyp that had to be removed along with 3 fractured teeth, and another required an eye to be removed. 4 of the 29 were placed into rescue by Safe House. Of the 4 that were placed into rescue one remains available for adoption as it was the most recent addition to the rescue. The other 3 have been adopted into safe and loving homes to live out their remaining lives as indoor cats with a much better life than out on the streets. One cat passed away shortly after surgery due to underlying health issues.
24 cats have been returned to their outside homes in the community. They will live much healthier lives and unwanted behaviors will diminish over time. These cats will no longer reproduce which will halt the growing population. They will also discourage any new cats from entering the area as they are very territorial animals.
For years no-kill organizations and caring citizens have been completing TNR behind the scenes in our area yet the Village of Tiskilwa was the first to begin a formal TNR programs under the direction and and approval of the Village Board. TNR has been proven to be effective around the world and we hope that Tiskilwa can be the pioneer for the surrounding towns to encourage more involvement and participation while also resolving our issue throughout the years. Following Tiskilwa, Lake Wildwood started their own program which has already shown great results. The City of Flanagan as well as Rochelle did launch their own TNR programs in previous years. The City of Rochelle initially communicated a catch and kill method which was met with significant resistance and they quickly changed to a TNR program. Larger cities throughout our nation are using TNR methods such as in Atlanta. More information about TNR programs can be found here as well as more information about the program as a whole.
We are extremely happy with the progress that has been made so far. We are also extremely grateful to those residents who have assisted and stepped up to help this community as a whole rather than complain about it and do nothing. A big thank you to those residents who have helped our community move forward and make it a better place to live for us all. Despite the tremendous efforts made, there will still likely be litters of kittens born in Tiskilwa. We encourage anyone who is aware of feral cats to contact the Village office to inform us so we can stay on top of the cat population. We also highly encourage any resident to inform the Village of any kittens they see as soon as they can. It will be important that any litters of kittens are left with their mothers outside, reported to the Village and monitored so that at 6 weeks they can be trapped, brought in from the community and socialized. These kittens can then be placed into a no kill rescue so that they may be adopted. Anyone who finds a kitten outside can follow the attached LINK for information on how to handle them.
The Village plans to continue the TNR program and stay as active as possible in the community to ensure we get a firm grasp on the community cat population to stop growth within the Village. We hope the harder we work now than the easier things will be for everyone in the future. Anyone with information on locations of cats or those who wish to help the program can contact the Village office. In addition, anyone who would like more information on TNR programs and a better understanding on how the program works please reach out to the Village or Safe House Animal Rescue League to ensure the correct information is passed on. The more people with the correct information and knowledge of the program the better the result for our community as a whole will be.
Lastly, none of this could have been done without the tremendous support and efforts made by Safe House Animal Rescue League staff. Thank you for all of the guidance, effort, support, planning, understanding, and patients that’s been shown to us throughout this entire program.