Who We Are
Feral Cat Rescue, Inc. is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to humanely reducing the feral and stray cat population in St. Mary’s County through a variety of methods without euthanasia. With our Trap, Neuter, Return, and Maintain program, feral cats are humanely trapped, then evaluated, vaccinated, and sterilized by veterinarians. Healthy cats too wild to be adopted are returned to their familiar habitat under the lifelong care of volunteers or those people already feeding them. Under our adoption program, the kittens and domestic cats that are adoptable are temporarily placed with foster families until they can be permanently adopted into good homes.
We are a 501(c)3 charity. Monetary donations help us pay our veterinary bills.
The Vacuum Effect
Some people say: "Just make the cats go away!" This is not the answer.
If cats are removed from their outdoor home, it creates a territorial opening—or vacuum—that will not remain empty. Removing cats from an area may cause a temporary decrease in the cat population, but more cats WILL take their place—and it won’t take long. This phenomenon is known in conservation studies as the Vacuum Effect. The Vacuum Effect has been observed in many species, not just cats. Catching and removing (or killing) cats is therefore futile. It is an expensive, deadly cycle which yields no long-term benefits.
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the only way to stabilize cat populations. It is the humane, effective approach to community cats and is sound public policy.
In 2007 when Feral Cat Rescue was founded, Tri-County Shelter was euthanizing 530 cats per month. In 2020, the number dropped to 60 per month due to the efforts of Feral Cat Rescue volunteers as well as the efforts of other rescue groups in the tri-county area. We believe the humane solution to the feral cat population is TRAP / NEUTER / RETURN / MAINTAIN rather than euthanasia.
We vet over 400 cats a year and return them to their homes where members of the community continue to maintain these cats by providing food and water daily along with veterinarian care when needed. We are able to foster about 300 cats a year. We do not take in feral adults. When we have room we may take in kittens under the age of 8 weeks to foster. We sometimes take in already domesticated adults.
Our main goals are:
1. Trap, Neuter, Return, Maintain (TNRM).
2. Provide education, grants, and traps to the community in order to reduce the feral cat population.
3. Find loving forever homes for domestic cats/kittens.