Friday, October 12, 2007

Homeless Animal Lifeline honors Feral Cat Day

Homeless Animal Lifeline (HAL) of Bridgewater, New Jersey will be hosting a National Feral Cat Day event on Saturday, October 13th at Bridgewater PetSmart. (National Feral Cat Day actually falls on October 16th.)

We will have an educational table set up with feral cat and Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) information, along with a TNR volunteer to answer your questions so that YOU can start your own TNR program!

If you can't attend but would like a FREE informational packet, contact us at

We also ask that you make a donation to HAL's Feral Cat Fund to commemorate Feral Cat Day. This fund has spayed/neutered and provided medical care and food for feral cats throughout New Jersey, while providing support and advice to their caregivers. 100% of donations to the fund go toward medical care, food, and supplies for feral cats. Our work has been acknowledged by Professor Gary Francione of Rutgers University, as well as the Westfield-Leader.

Visit us at Bridgewater PetSmart on Saturday, October 13th, between 11AM and 4PM. Our display, along with many cats and kittens up for adoption, will be set up alongside Banfield Vet.

PetSmart of Bridgewater
145 Promenade Blvd.

To learn more about HAL's Feral Cat Fund or to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit


Excerpts from: “Abolition and Incremental Reform,” by Professor Gary L. Francione; originally published in Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach-Blog, January 17, 2007.

I want to share with you the stories of ... people who are, in my view, making a difference ...

Shell is an animal advocate in New Jersey. She is one of the nation's leading experts on TNR …. her primary focus is on providing comprehensive information, support, and resources about TNR both for the general public and for caregivers of feral cat colonies. She receives hundreds of inquiries every week from people all over the country who are interested in learning about TNR and who want to be networked with other caregivers in their area, as well as from caregivers who need information on how to deal with particular issues.

Shell works directly with cat colonies in need of sterilization. She traps unaltered cats and brings them to the vet for sterilization and a rabies vaccine. The cats recover at her house or at the vet's office and, after recovery, she returns them to their colony.

On the weekend, Shell does cat adoptions at the PetSmart in Bridgewater, New Jersey. She does this in conjunction with a rescue group, Homeless Animal Lifeline ( Many of the kittens and cats who are up for adoption were found in feral cat colonies. They were either tame to begin with or have been socialized for adoption. Shell also runs HAL's Feral Cat Fund, which helps to educate the public about TNR and ferals, as well as care for feral colonies.

Shell does not take a salary. She is a volunteer.

© 2007 Gary L. Francione

Full article:

Westfield Leader: Trap-Neuter-Return Is Solution For Feral Cats

June 4, 2006

We've all seen them running across the street, gathering around the dumpster in a parking lot, and generally fleeing from humans. Feral cats are victims – they are the direct result of abandonment by humans and our failure to spay and neuter.

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader

And, their population will continue to grow unless we do something to control it now. There is a solution that is humane and that works, called the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program.

The success of TNR must begin with dispelling the myth that feral cats are wild. A bobcat is wild. A tiger is wild. Once we begin to think of feral cats as homeless, domestic cats, and realize that the only difference between a housecat and a feral is the latter's intense fear of humans, we will be more successful in tackling the huge problem of controlling the growing population.

Shell Sullivan, Vice President of Homeless Animal Lifeline (HAL), began her work with feral cats nearly two decades ago, and has been at the forefront of the TNR program in New Jersey. She is committed
to the idea that killing homeless animals is unacceptable in this society.

According to Ms. Sullivan, "TNR is the only proven method that addresses the overpopulation problem at the root. HAL's feral cat program," she adds, "helps the public decrease the amount of homeless domestic cats, while providing care for the existing homeless population."

The concept is that a sterilized colony of feral cats will eventually die off. It doesn't hurt that the solution is compassionate, either. Often, these colonies are managed, which means that the spay/neutered/
vaccinated group is provided with food, water, and shelter by a designated caregiver.

Proof of TNR's efficacy is evident in those locales, like Hamilton Township and Cape May, where it is commonly practiced. Not only hasthe TNR program decreased the population, but it has also decreased the number of cats killed each year at shelters – a solution which costs twice as much as TNR.

The TNR program does have its critics. Concerns that arise from those who have not been educated about TNR include the question of the health hazard posed by feral cats. Actually, these cats are often more resilient than indoor cats, and, the cats in managed colonies are all immunized. A second common criticism is that these cats are killing off the bird population. Sorry, folks – as in all declining wildlife species, human behavior is the number one cause of habitat destruction.

The solution is simple, but your help is needed. The best way for anyone to help in his or her community is to spay/neuter, and to keep their housecats indoors. For more information on TNR, please visit HAL's website at:, where you can request a free information packet.

Whether you are a cat-lover or not, you must surely agree that there is a common goal with TNR – ending the homeless cat crisis.