Austin Community College’s Homeless Cat Program
A sub committee of the ACC Environmental Health and Safety Committee
Why We Exist
The ACC Homeless Cat Program is a stray/feral cat management group through which faculty, staff, and community associate members may participate in a trap, sterilize, return and management system on ACC Campuses.
The Trap, Neuter and release (TNR) approach that ACCats has adopted includes humane trapping of feral cats, transporting to a pet clinic, sterilization, vaccination, ear-tipping to prevent re-trapping and releasing back into the cat colony, to be managed by caring ACC volunteers.
Some ACC campuses have been sharing their space with homeless cats for years. The best example of this is the ACC Riverside Campus. The caring faculty and staff have gone to great lengths over the years to humanely trap, neuter, vaccinate and maintain their colony before we had a formalized group. Pinnacle has several cats that they have maintained for years, as well.
The Austin Humane Society’s Feral Cat Program has been very helpful not only with trapping but training volunteers to humanely trap our homeless cats. They have also been very supportive with several crisis situations that have come up over the past year with the Riverside Campus Cat Colony.
If you are interested in becoming involved with ACCats you can contact Mary Heard at 223-3262.
If you want more information on the TNR approach for Feral Cats the following external links
might be helpful.
“Austin Humane Society Feral Cat Spay and Neuter Program”
“Feral Cat Spay and Neuter Project”
“The Campus Cat Coalition”
Meet The Cats
Amber lives in one of the ACC Cat colonies
Miss Auto aka Decibelle was part of the RVS cat colony
but is now living in a home
Bobby died over the winter break 2008 RIP
History of ACCats
Excerpted from the original printed in the Pinnacle newsletter titled From the Pinnacle August 2002.
CATS - Not The Musical
If you have been coming to the Pinnacle Campus over the past year or two on a regular basis it is hard to miss our feral cat community.
Originally a gray and white male cat took up residence in the front of the building. It wasn't long before the campus cat-lovers realized he wasn't just passing through and started bringing him food. Fortunately, he was somewhat tame and a student who worked for the Humane Society SPCA of Austin and Travis County took an interest in his well being. We were able to catch him and she took him to the humane society. He was named Pinnacle and adopted to a good home.
Pinnacle had a girlfriend, Stripey, who was left behind on his departure. Stripey had kittens soon after and the only surviving one of the litter, Juniorette took up residence in the front building entrance with her mother. The two look alikes had several Pinnacle people taking an interest in their care and feeding. Bynum Thomas, Dick Anderson, Ken Box, Janet Bickham, Linda Caplin and Rita Banninger among others no doubt, are the resident cat people.
In time Blackey joined the Pinnacle campus cat population and between her and Stripey who both mated with unknown sperm donors we soon had six kittens to worry about.
The good news is our zero population growth cat lovers - Janet Bickham, Instructor in Mathematics and Linda Caplin, Student Services Counselor saw to the capture of Stripey, Juniorette and Blackey.
Upon their capture, Janet took them to her veterinarian, Dr. E. Henry Meyer, and with vouchers from the Maddie Program (the program has since been terminated) had them spayed and given shots. Janet reports that Doc Meyer has donated much time and resources to helping out the feral cat community in Austin. Also thanks to all Pinnacle employees who donated to the cats' surgeries.
The cats were then released back to their homes at the Pinnacle. Unfortunately, Blackey did not live long after returning home. However Linda and Janet have even managed to capture all the kittens and they are currently being socialized at Linda's home.
Linda Caplin has shared a progress report with me regarding the kittens:
Three of the kittens, Dino Martino, Scaredy Kat and the Black Banshee have found permanent homes in the Caplin household and the most recent arrival (until last night) Sorella which means sister in Italian, needs her own home. My border collie has adopted her and won't leave her alone. In fact, Dani (the dog) is about nuts from herding not only the four kittens who thunder through the house but the four cats (all rescued) that I already had! My other dog, the blonde bimbo golden/husky/chow mix is bewildered by it all.
Miss Auto's Story
Miss Auto and I had become acquainted some months back. She’s quite the talker and has also been known as Decibelle and Speaker, by some. Over Christmas break my husband and I discussed it and decided to bring her home. At first she stayed in our guest bathroom. After about a week in there and showing no signs of wanting to intermingle with our other animals, we decided she needed more space. We moved Miss Auto to our bathroom, which is much larger. Slowly, but surely, she decided to venture into our bedroom – being the only cat with that special privilege! Still, she wasn’t interested in meeting the rest of the clan. We put a pretty, bright, hot pink break-a-way collar on her. This seemed to give her the confidence she needed, and from that point on, she has gone on to explore the rest of the house and meet the rest of the animals. She still has the privilege of sleeping in our bedroom at night. Miss Auto is very gentle with our 15 month old daughter and vice versa. I know they will be friends for many, many years to come! Miss Auto is a wonderful addition to our family and brings us much joy.
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