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Zimmer Foundation
PO Box 130944
Ann Arbor MI  48113
Our Veterinary Scholarship Program is seeking applications from cat-focused veterinary students for our 2007 award. Deadline for applications is May 31st. See here for details.

The importance of feral cat ear-tipping

Many people new to feral cat management question why feral cats must be ear-tipped. The practice started in Europe in the 1970's as an easy and permanent way to identify sterilized and vaccinated feral cats. Years later it was popularized in this country by Alley Cat Allies. Our program -- as most others -- follow their model.

Ear-tipping is simply the removal of the top 1/4" of the cat's left ear and is done under anesthesia while a cat is being sterilized. It not only aids colony caregivers in distinguishing cats already fixed from those that still need to be done, but it also can save outdoor-living cats from being confused with lost pet cats.

If this simple procedure saves a cat from being trapped twice for sterilization -- or worse from being taken to a shelter where they are often euthanized on arrival -- it's well worth it. No other form of identification has been shown as safe and effective as ear-tipping.


Tips on helping found kittens

If you find baby kittens outdoors and want a rewarding summer project, consider bringing them indoors to socialize them to people -- and then finding them permanent indoor homes.

If you can't do this yourself, please don't rescue them until you locate someone who can.  Those who can are typically overwhelmed by the numbers and so you may find that there is no one but you to find them homes.  For an overview, see our Cat Handout -- Kitten Care and Socialization.

Finding kittens is a clue that feral adults are living in the same vicinity -- and their outdoor care and sterilization are important too.  See our Handbook, Feral Colony Management.  If you care for the adult cats, contact us for spay/neuter vouchers.  And -- if you place kittens in lower-income families -- they can call for spay/neuter help too.

Dear Friends,

We appreciate those of you who have put our spay/neuter posters on public bulletin boards -- next to vet clinic referrals this is our most effective way to reach feral cat caregivers and lower-income families with unsterilized pet cats.

In 2006 we paid for the sterilization of 1,724 cats for 631 different caregivers in our service area.  This was up 60% over 2005 -- and for 2007, our goal is to help with the sterilization of 3,000 more.  And this is being done with no paid staff -- no brick-and-mortar building -- but literally through the grassroots efforts of you -- the caring members of our community.

Partnering with 45 different vet clinics -- most of whom generously discount their prices -- we're able to put spay/neuter into the neighborhoods to make it more accessible for all the cats who live below the traditional spay/neuter radar.  We -- and the cats in our community -- very much appreciate your efforts.

Thank you!

Kitty Zimmer

P.S. We've enclosed a copy of our spay/neuter poster -- if you pass a bulletin board, would you kindly post it?


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