MeowSquad NYC, a nonprofit organization devoted to rescuing cats and making them available for adoption, will be holding an adoption event May 14 at Modern Pet in the Bay Terrace Shopping Center. Established in 2019, MeowSquad NYC aims to reduce the city’s stray and feral cat population through the use of trap-neuter-return (TNR) techniques and working with the community to find homes for them.
TNR involves entire colonies of community cats that are too timid and fearful of people to be suitable for adoption being trapped, sterilized, vaccinated, ear tipped and returned to their territory of origin. It halts reproduction and many of the annoying behaviors associated with unneutered cats, such as yowling, fighting and marking territory. Colony management is also taken into account to ensure the cats’ well-being and their peaceful coexistence with the rest of the community. It also helps to prevent overpopulation in the city.
According to event organizer and MeowSquad NYC volunteer Diana Alvarez, this will mark the organization’s third adoption event of 2022 and Modern Pet’s first since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In addition to trying to find homes for these cats, Alvarez hopes to also bring attention and awareness to the organization’s cause.
“We’ve been rescuing and helping cats throughout the pandemic,” Alvarez said. “We helped 300 to 500 cats in 2021 and currently have over 120.”
The volunteers in the organization also act as foster parents for the cats they rescue. Alvarez, who credits the cat foster parents for being a lifesaving force for MeowSquad NYC, is currently watching 20 cats herself at her home. MeowSquad NYC hopes to eventually raise enough funds to acquire holding spaces for the cats, where potential adopters can meet them. This would also provide more space for the cats to be in.
Since the pandemic came along, meet and greets between potential adopters and the cats they are interested in have been virtual instead of physical. Alvarez notes that they can’t hold meet-and-greets at the foster homes due to health concerns for both parties.
“These adoption events provide the opportunity for people interested in adopting to physically interact with the cats, which is really important right now,” Alvarez said. “Down the road, we hope to have a truck for an adoption event that would fit up to 20 cats.”