TAVARES, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Volunteers with TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) Lake County discovered a litter of six kittens while completing an assessment of community cats. Two of kittens had severe single-eye infections and one kitten appears to be blind in both eyes. The three kittens will likely require surgery to remove the traumatized eyes. All of the kittens will be available for adoption through the Lake County Sheriff's Office Animal Services, once they are well.
TNR Lake County was launched earlier this month and is a division of L.E.A.S.H., Inc., which is a non-profit agency based in Lake County that directly benefits shelter animals in need.
"Our goal for the TNR program is to have fewer cats on the street," remarked Whitney Luckhart, President and founder of L.E.A.S.H., Inc.. "Whenever possible, volunteers will remove socialized cats and kittens from the colony so they can be offered up for adoption. Our volunteers recognized that these kittens were not candidates for TNR."
TNR program cats are trapped, vaccinated, sterilized, ear-tipped, microchipped and returned to the outdoor home from which they came. Because the cats are not able reproduce, the population will decrease. Communities that have implemented TNR programs have seen a reduction in shelter intake and euthanasia.
"Our partnership with the Lake County Sheriff's Office Animal Services has been instrumental in the rapid development of our program. We are able to work together for the best possible outcome for the animals," Luckhart said. "Over the last two weeks, our volunteers have assessed six colonies in four cities across the County. We are off to a strong start, but are always looking for volunteers and fosters."
Residents interested in volunteering should attend the TNR volunteer training session, scheduled for Saturday, September 19, from 1-3 p.m., at the Institute of Public Safety, located at 1565 Lane Park Cutoff, Tavares.