Cat Rescue in the San Gabriel Mountains http://www.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_3507218 http://www.soundboxgraphics.com/campfollowscats http://www.feralcatalliance.org/
Late last January, a major cat rescue operation conducted by the Los Angeles Feral Cat Alliance took place in the San Gabriel Mountains. Seventeen cats, one rabbit, and one dog were retrieved from the Camp Follows area along East Fork Road after their families abandoned them when they were evicted from the camp.
A local resident had been working very hard to feed the abandoned animals, and to administer to them antibiotics and some measure of human contact while at the same time making telephone calls to government agencies and volunteer organizations to see what could be done about them.
The expense of caring for the animals, coupled to the fact that the resident is facing eviction herself, meant the likelihood of survival for most of the animals was poor, faced with starvation, freezing weather, coyotes, and infectious diseases.
Any surviving cats that managed to make it past the Winter would have minimally adversely impacted the ecology of the area, but the fact that the animals were not spayed or neutered meant that the usual cycle of feral cat births and death would have afflicted the area.
When I read about the evictions and the abandoned cats, I spent some three weeks trying to find a government agency or volunteer organization that could help recover the animals. Since it was to be a difficult project, and because so many “no kill” cat shelters are full of cats, few volunteer groups could offer suggestions, and government agencies – like the US Forest Service, Department of Fish and Game, and so many others – noted that cat problems weren’t their problems.
The Feral Cat Alliance, however, returned my calls and emails and looked into the problem, and eventually the FCA developed a plan to collect, trap, transport, medically examine, spay or neuter, house and place the abandoned animals.
On the first Saturday of the days that the rescue took place, I tagged along to show the FCA where the cats were located, and to talk with the resident who had been keeping the animals alive. Because the camp is closed, a gate barred us from entering the camp grounds, leaving me to proceed on foot and the FCA volunteers to work with the camp ground security person to deal with the gate to allow the FCA to drive into the hills for the rescue.
When I knocked on the door and told Lani who I was and why I was there, she was shocked, turned back into her residence and told the other people there that she was dying and that they wouldn’t believe who was at the door. When the FCA group showed up with their van and cat cages, she suggested that we had been sent by god to assist with the cat problem.
The FCA volunteers took a detailed look at the cats, how many there were, what their probable physical conditions and ages were, how many were still domesticated, how many where going feral, and of those how many were likely to return to being domestic with a little love and care.
I was greatly impressed with the FCA’s technical abilities and professionalism, and their ability to modify and implement changes to their plans based on the actual conditions up at the camp. They left cages and food, and took with them the three baby kittens and one wonderfully amusing black-and-white long haired cat which I talked with on the long drive back down into the city. They returned extremely early the next morning with traps and quick instructions on how to use them to recover the remaining animals.
Since then all of the cats – except for the babies -- have been spayed or neutered, and all have been medically examined.
If you’d like a cat that’s already been “fixed,” if you’ll contact the Feral Cat Alliance at the URL offered above, they can provide photographs of these Follows cats, or of other cats that they take care of.
Many of the cats are black and white though there\'s one completely black cat.