Tuesday, November 30, 2010

TNR saves campus cats

Some weeks ago, the cats living on the campus of the Lebanese American University (LAU) in Beirut were targeted as being a nuisance after a few people on campus complained of being bitten by insects.

In an effort to stop these complaints, the administration decided to use pesticides to make sure there were no fleas.  Sadly, this pesticide was very harmful for the cats and many ended up sick.

Luckily for the cats, Dr. Dima Dabbous, an advisor to Animals Lebanon, who is also a professor at the university and an advisor to the newly formed Animal Care Club (ACC) at the university.  After researching the pesticide being used and finding out what a risk it was, she immediately contacted Animals Lebanon and the university administration.

LAU was very cooperative after the issue of the pesticide was discussed.  Working with Animals Lebanon, the Animal Care Club had a solution that kept everyone happy and ensured the best for the cats ? TNR!
A Memorandum of Understanding was quickly drafted outlining how Animals Lebanon and ACC could make sure the cats are happy and healthy, that there are no more complaints from people about the cats, and that the university would refrain from using any chemicals or pesticides which are harmful to the cats.

Not only did the university agree, but they also pledged to provide funding for the project and follow up care once the cats have been spayed/neutered.

So far twelve cats have been humanely trapped, then a qualified vet participating in our TNR Voucher program performs the spay/neuter operation, as well as giving vaccines and treatments to rid cats of possible fleas or worms.  Their ears are tipped for identification and after a little rest they were all safely returned to campus.

The main mission of ACC is to care for the cats on campus, keeping the population to a manageable level through TNR, and keeping them healthy by providing food and water and seeking veterinary advice and treatments when necessary.

The Dean of Students at LAU, Dr. Tarek E. Na?was, said that ACC ?showed great enthusiasm and a tremendous will to work to fulfill its goals. I am proud to say that after one year of its initiation, and in addition to its other activities, the ACC was successful in providing a healthy, caring, and animal friendly environment to cats on the LAU campus.?

Animals Lebanon has done its part by having ACC make the most of our TNR Voucher program, providing them with cages, helping trap the cats and transport them to the vets, and by helping ACC work with the administration to find a happy solution for everyone.

?The work being done for the cats of LAU is a perfect example of a partnership of groups coming together to see the best for the animals,? said Lana El Khalil, the President of Animals Lebanon.

?I hope to use this model of campus TNR to get other Lebanese universities to see just how easy it is to make their campuses a safe environment for the people and the animals which call the campuses home.?

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