By Michelle Charles
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Megan Dayton is a vice president of Operation Catnip Stillwater, a community service organization holding a spay/neuter clinic Sunday at the Oklahoma State Teaching Hospital.
1 What is Operation Catnip?
Operation Catnip Stillwater is a communitywide project with the mission of decreasing the number of community cats by Trap-Neuter-Return. It is our goal to decrease the number of cats presenting to local shelters and their subsequent euthanasia. OCS will serve as training grounds for veterinarians and veterinary students for high-quality high-volume sterilization techniques. OCS will increase community awareness of the value of spay/neuter and provide the community an opportunity for volunteerism and involvement in bettering the lives of community cats. We carry out this mission by holding eight high volume spay/neuter clinics a year where we have 70-plus volunteers come together to spay/neuter, vaccinate and ear tip between 150-250 community (feral/stray) cats.
2 Who founded the group and why?
OCS was founded in the spring of 2011 by Dr. Lesa Staubus, a faculty member of Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary and Health Sciences, Megan Dayton and Jacqueline Paritte, two veterinary students. Other founding board members include Mary Dickey, Holly Chapples and Dr. Kim Carter. Dr. Lesa Staubus brought the idea of Catnip back to Stillwater when she visited Operation Catnip Gainesville running out of the University of Florida since 1998. She thought that this type of program could benefit and impact the community of Stillwater.
3 Why do you release the cats after treating them?
Releasing the cats after the clinics allows them to continue to live out their lives while helping to stabilize the cat colony populations, improve the cats’ relationship with the community by eliminating the behaviors and stresses associated with mating and reduces the risk of rabies transmission along with other transmissible diseases to our owned cats. Most feral cats have limited human contact, creating a fear of people which makes them unsuitable for adoption after the clinics.
4 Is there a feral cat problem in Stillwater?
We are contacted all of the time about small and large colonies of feral cats living in Stillwater. We are also hoping that OCS will be able to decrease the burden on rescue organizations like Stillwater Animal Welfare and Tiny Paws Kitten Rescue.
5 How can people get involved?
For more information about Operation Catnip Stillwater and to learn how to get involved, please check out our website (operationcatnipstillwater.org), email us (email@example.com) and be sure to like us on Facebook!