ARF & Bideawee Partner to Help Feral Cats on the East End

The Hamptons Animal Rescue Fund, aka ARF, recently announced a new partnership with Bideawee of Westhampton to help feral cats on Eastern Long Island.

Their work began on Thursday, December 9th when ARF traveled from East Hampton to the Westhampton facility in Bideawee for the first of what will be monthly Spay/Neuter Clinics to treat Suffolk County’s feral cat population.

The medical team at ARF, led by Medical Director Dr. Christine Asaro, vaccinated and sterilized/neutered 30 communal (feral) cats at the launch event to reduce the exponential growth of freely roaming cats and the suffering of countless cats in the future. The surgeries were performed inside the ARF’s mobile/neuter sterilization cart in Bideawee, and ARF staff and volunteers administered the cat’s intake and recovery at the Bideawee facility.

ARFs Debbie Downs Head to Bideawee’s Recovery ZoneCourtesy ARF

For years, ARF and Bideawee have been separately combating the same problem using the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) approach, which the organization says is the most humane and effective way to manage feral cat populations. Since its inception in 1997, the ARF’s Operation Cat (Op Cat) program has modified and vaccinated more than 28,000 free-roaming cats in Suffolk County. In addition, Op Cat also recruits an extensive network of volunteer caregivers who provide food and shelter to cat colonies, ensuring that cats remain healthy while their numbers decline over time, thanks to the TNR.

Bideawee took charge of the Feral Cat Initiative (FCI) in 2019, formerly run by the Mayor’s Coalition for Animals in New York City, which has helped more than 200,000 feral cats. FCI provides a wealth of information to the public such as free training and support, and access to resources and services to promote TNR and responsible colony management. The FCI also plays a key role in directing colony caretakers to TNR services such as Op Cat.

ARF's Medica Director, Dr. Christine Asaro, helps stray cats with surgery
Kristen Asaro, ARF Director of SurgeryCourtesy ARF

“As longtime advocates of TNR, we are thrilled with this exciting partnership between our organizations. Leslie Granger, CAWA, President and CEO of Bideawee, said TNR is saving countless kittens from being born on our streets and keeping the cats that roam free in Long Island is safe and healthy. “Thank you to ARF and everyone who helped make this partnership a success.”

“It is imperative that animal welfare organizations work together to achieve their common goals, and Bideawee is one of ARF’s partners,” added Scott Howe, CEO and CEO of ARF.

Together, ARF and Bideawee intend to maximize their effectiveness in reducing feral cat populations by combining their resources to benefit cats and the communities they serve.

The next clinic is scheduled for Thursday, January 13, 2022.

Free appointments must be pre-scheduled online at arfhamptons.org/programsservices/operation-cat/.

Learn more about Bideawee and the Feral Cat Initiative at bideawee.org/programs/feral-cat-initiative/.

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