Portland, Oregon. The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon (FCCO) promotes the wellbeing of stray and feral cats around the Portland area. FCCO focuses largely on its trap-neuter-return program, meant to combat the overpopulation of feral cats and decrease their chance of disease. In July 2019, FCCO cared for Boo — their 100,000th cat (photo credit, Kathi Lamm Photography). In order to maintain social distancing guidelines, however, operations have been limited.
The FCCO clinic was closed for approximately six weeks during shelter-in-place before reopening in mid-May. Upon reopening, FCCO workers were split into A and B medical teams, ensuring no overlap between staff and minimizing contact. Fewer veterinarians are allowed in the building at a time, decreasing efficiency. Only 30-35 cats can be spayed/neutered per day.
“It’s disappointing and frustrating that we’re not operating at full capacity, but we’re doing everything we can to grow our capacity and be there for the cats in our community,” said an FCCO staff member.
The temporary closure in operations occurred during kitten season. This leads the FCCO community to worry that new kittens won’t find a home. Tame kittens that are brought into the clinic are given the option to join the Kitten Caboose program, where FCCO partners with the Oregon Humane Society to find permanent homes for the kittens. With less of these kittens being brought in at this time, they become more likely to live on streets and breed more in the future.
Appointments are now required to bring cats to the clinic, and no caregivers are allowed in the building. A full explanation of appointment instructions can be found at http://www.feralcats.com/covid19.
Services for feral cats are of no charge, but FCCO requests donations from caregivers at the time of service. In recent months, the average donations per cat dropped from $18 to $13, although FCCO recommends $40. Low-cost services for pet cats are not currently available.
From the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon:
FCCO is a spay/neuter program for cats. Our services are no-cost for feral, stray, and barn cats (donations requested) and low-cost for pet cats, including vaccines. The mission of the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon is to improve the welfare and reduce the population of feral and stray cats through spay/neuter programs and education.