ANIMALS 24-7 visits with Stacy LeBaron of Community Cats podcast
Yes, it is Dog Bite Prevention Week, according to the U.S. Postal Service, and Easter week according to the world’s 2.2 billion Christians, and Friday is Passover, celebrated by about 17.4 million Jewish people.
But somewhere in the vicinity of 400 million people worldwide worship cats with daily food offerings and other obesiances, according to cats themselves. There is no one holiday in honor of cats because most cats take at least part of every day off to snooze in the sunshine.
We at ANIMALS 24-7 took time this week to chat with Community Cats podcast founder and host Stacy LeBaron about some of the many urgent issues involving cats.
Introducing the five-days-a-week Community Cats podcast program in mid-2016, now averaging 3,000 downloads a week, LeBaron, now of Warren, Vermont, had already been involved in cat rescue and advocacy for more than 20 years as one of the principals in the Merrimac River Feline Rescue Society, MRFRS for short, currently headquartered in Salisbury, New Hampshire.
Formed in 1992 in an office above a veterinary clinic in Newburyport, Massachusetts, the MRFRS debuted by using neuter/return to reduce a waterfront population of more than 300 cats to zero by 2009.
The MRFRS then turned to helping other neuter/return projects in Massachusetts, Maine, and southern New Hampshire.
Joining the MRFRS as a volunteer in 1994, LeBaron went on to spend 18 years as an MRFRS board member, 16 years as the MRFRS executive director, and more than seven years as director of the MRFRS mentoring program.
Says the MRFRS web site, “Since our inception, the MRFRS has assisted over 100,000 cats — placing over 19,000 cats and kittens into homes, spaying or neutering over 12,500 feral cats at our TNR clinics, and over 44,000 cats on our Catmobiles.”
(For more about LeBaron, see http://www.communitycatspodcast.com/get-to-know-your-host-stacy-lebaron/.)
More than 100 guests
The Community Cats podcast interview series to some extent continues LeBaron’s work in mentoring, but with more than a hundred different mentors so far, in just over 170 downloadable half-hour broadcasts. Among LeBaron’s interview subjects have been most of the superstars of introducing and promoting neuter/return, and also many of the relatively obscure behind-the-scenes people who make the programs work on the ground, not only in the U.S. but also abroad, from remote island nations to mainland China.
Beth Clifton in Community Cats podcast #168 (http://www.communitycatspodcast.com/episode-168-beth-clifton/) made her radio debut, discussing her evolving perspectives as cat lover and household cat keeper since childhood, police officer and animal control officer addressing neighborhood issues originating with cat and cat feeder behavior, veterinary technician at a high-volume spay/neuter clinic that often handled feral cats, and finally as photographer, artist, and social media editor for ANIMALS 24-7.
In the concluding part of the interview Beth shares her tips for obtaining good animal photos (always carry a cell phone with a good camera!), emphasizes the importance of taking personal responsibility for the animals one helps, and yes, Sydney the Seal fans, she talks a bit about Sydney.
For ANIMALS 24-7 editor Merritt Clifton, Community Cats podcast #169 (http://www.communitycatspodcast.com/episode-169-merritt-clifton/) was an encore visit, following up on podcast #67, recorded in September 2016. While Community Cats podcast #67 (http://www.communitycatspodcast.com/episode-67-merritt-clifton/) centered on the history and ethics of doing neuter/return, podcast #169 centers on the history and techniques involved in gathering cat-related statistics.
The short version is that while cats themselves might prefer to remain invisible, inscrutable, unknowable beings who are nonetheless the recipients of offerings and worship, there are several relatively easy, inexpensive ways to discover their secrets, including how many of them inhabit any given territory.
For further details, tune in! The lynx are:
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