Interview with Beth Frank, Founder of Community Cats United, Inc
Animal lovers across the globe are constantly connecting with each other to protect and care for animals in the best way possible. This type of networking takes place on a daily basis and more often than not it happens digitally via social media, websites or emails. We, at Animal Rescue Guide, love to hear about efforts that have a positive impact in the animal welfare world. Especially when it involves many people coming together to make a long-term difference in the lives of animals.
So, when we heard about Beth Frank and her incredibly impressive work for community cats, we couldn’t help but ask her for an interview, and we’re so glad she agreed! She spoke to us about TNR programs and their advantages, and also gave us an insight into the work involved as a founder of an animal rescue community. Now let’s hear from Beth Frank and get to know more about her brainchild
- Community Cats United.
How did you get started helping animals?
I have had cats all my life and brought many stray dogs home too
What is the focus of the help you provide?
Our focus is community cats (feral, semi-feral and friendlies). In Sept 2014, I started a group on Facebook called Trap-Neuter-Return Community. In early 2015, our growth made it necessary to incorporate under the name of Community Cats United, Inc.
The mission of Community Cats United, Inc, is to engage members worldwide who dedicate themselves to the care taking of Community Cats and their efforts to promote Community Cat well-being. Our vision is to advance the status of community cats, uplift shelter medicine, encourage TNR, support our members in all areas of cat rescue and advocacy, to reduce the number of community cats and ease the plight of unowned cats everywhere.
We respect and salute the men and women who act as caretakers, assist in the sterilization, and advocate on behalf of these unhomed, beautiful creatures.
Can you tell us about TNR programs and it’s advantages?
A Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program involves humanely trapping cats and taking them to licensed veterinarians to get them spay/neutered. They are then mostly returned to the place they were trapped. Most times, a caretaker then will feed and care for these cats who live in what is called a colony. Many times, friendlies that are trapped are put into rescues for adoptions and kittens are attempted to be socialized. Most all of these cats are living on the street because they were abandoned or sometimes lost. People do not spay and neuter their pets. When they get tired of a cat, they often open the door and let it go, figuring it will survive on its own. They seldom will remain healthy and survive.
TNR has many advantages: it stops continued overpopulation growth by stopping future pregnancies, most, if not all, nuisance behaviors are eliminated, and the actual number of community cats decline over time through attrition. During the TNR process, a vaccination is given to each cat that protects against rabies.
What is your motivation?
I want to see our community cats elevated to a status where they will be treated with kindness and respect. They did not ask to be here and to trap and kill them is victimizing them a second time.
What are the difficulties animals face in your country (USA)?
Lack of education, bullying and hate.
What difficulties do you face in helping them in your country?
The biggest challenge is education. People do not understand community cats – where they came from and how to address the issue of their overpopulation. Education is paramount to helping these cats.
What good is happening for animals in your country?
TNR is breaking out all over the world. People are finding it is more effective, cost efficient and compassionate. Our group has over 21,000 members and 1000 groups in 110 countries and all 50 US states.
What are your goals for animals in your country/globally?
Education and seeing TNR become the widespread way to deal with community cats.
What is one particularly impactful rescue story?
We have helped people start TNR programs, talk to public officials and get TNR ordinances put in place, find low cost spay and neuter TNR help, and pair up with people that are doing what you do and understand it. We have had many success stories. Each cat in a colony is given a name by the caregiver. The connection the caregiver, TNRers and rescues have with these cats is heart-warming. They are truly special people. Most pay for spay/neuter and food out of their own pockets.
What do you feel could be accomplished with more available resources?
There would be no overpopulation issue with community cats.
How can people help your organisation?
People can contact us at https://www.communitycatsunited.org/contact-us to help or reach out to any local group/person that does this. It's not only about donations, though they are important. You can help if you can use a computer/smartphone, like to talk to people, like to drive, like to make life better for another living being.
Do you accept volunteers?
Volunteers are always welcome and needed.
Is there anything else that you would like our readers to know?
Our group is unique in that our focus is on an incredible network we have created for community cats around the world. NONE of our volunteers are paid – unlike most other big groups involved with community cats. All money we raise goes directly to the cats. Our group has grown rapidly in our three years. And we have only just begun!
We are so thankful to Beth Frank for doing this interview and for all of her hard work in the animal rescue community. It warms our heart to get to know people like her, who strive for a better world in which animals and humans co-exist, even more peacefully than they do now.
Use the links below to be a part of her ever growing Trap–Neuter–Return Community or get to know more about her and her efforts by logging on to her website.
You can also purrchase this unique cat themed adult colouring book by Beth Frank, for yourself or for a fellow cat lover.
Looking for more such cat related posts? Click here to read about Singapore’s community cats.