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The Record: Event to raise money to fix, re-home stray cats

Event to raise money to fix, re-home stray cats

Local volunteers help Operation: Snip to care for local stray cats and to find them new homes. PHOTO PROVIDED BY LYNN KOPKA

TROY >> Remembering to care for pets like cats is important any time of year, but people need to be especially aware during the winter.

Cats, either abandoned by their owners or born feral, suffer through the same below-freezing temperatures and snowfall with which humans contend, but the cats have to fend for themselves. And cats in the wild also continue to reproduce, only making the problem worse.

This is where Operation: Snip and Spaying Capital Region Unowned Feral Felines come in. The two organizations, staffed entirely by volunteers, trap, neuter and return feral cats off the streets of the region. Operation: Snip also rescues abandoned and stray cats and kittens as necessary.

Both organizations are in need of support to continue to save hundreds of cats each year. This year, Glennpeter Jewelers will be hosting a holiday soiree to benefit both groups from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at its Diamond Center at 1544 Central Ave. in Albany.

The party will have a cocktail party theme with gift baskets for the public to bid on. All money raised will go directly to the organizations.

“We look to this event each year to help build and continue our organization so that we can keep saving more cats throughout the Capital Region,” said Operation: Snip President Lynn Kopka, who is also a member of the Troy City Council.

Volunteer organizations like these, and the feline populations they serve, survive through the goodwill of people who recognize the humane mandate to care for the defenseless creatures in our midst, Kopka said. At no time are Operation: Snip and SCRUFF more needed than in the winter, when icy winds blow and threaten to break both human and feline spirits.

The organizations do not have any paid staff, relying on 10 to 20 volunteers depending on the events being held. But the work they do is important not only to the cats they help, Kopka said.

“If there are a lot of cats hanging around a neighborhood, it can become a health issue for the unattended cats,” she explained. “It wouldn’t be good for health reasons related to the stray cats, since the cats will continue to reproduce, creating more cats without resources.”

The organizations regularly gets phone calls from the community to report strays, and the calls keep coming.

“The demand continues to increase, but responses from the community has always been very good at helping our organizations,” Kopka said. “Operation: Snip has been a huge success in reducing the community cat population in Troy. Our partners at the Mohawk-Hudson Humane Society in Menands and Saratoga; SCRUFF; Troy Veterinary Hospital and Animal Protective Foundation — as well as our extensive network of volunteers – have contributed to Snip’s ability to respond to increasing numbers of calls for assistance.”

By Nicholas Buonanno,, @NickBuonanno on Twitter

Posted: |

Copyright © The Record

The Record: Operation SNIP 2 is a success

Pulse of The People: Operation SNIP is a success

Opinion by Lynn M. Kopka & Deb Henderson
The Record, March 18, 2013

Operation Snip Round II occurred on Feb. 17 at Troy Veterinary Hospital. Round II followed the initial spring 2012 round of 150 cats receiving spay/neuter services. The successful spay/neuter/return of more than 50 Troy cats was a collaboration among many animal rescue groups, Troy Veterinary Hospital and many dedicated volunteers. The focus was on Lansingburgh, with trapping sites determined by residents of the ‘Burgh and the city’s animal control officer.

We partnered with another TNR (trap/neuter/return) program to address an overpopulation problem in one location. More than 50 cats from that location also were part of the program on Feb. 17, for a grand total of more than 100 cats receiving spay/neuter services on one day.

Troy Vet Hospital selected the late winter date as the optimum time to spay females prior to kitten season. This will significantly reduce the number of kittens born this spring to feral moms. The goal of Operation Snip is to reduce the overpopulation of feral cats living in alleys and abandoned structures throughout Troy.

Our day began at 7 a.m. as the cats were transported to Troy Vet and ended with the last cat coming off the operating table at 7:45 p.m. The Troy Veterinary Hospital vets and vet techs were outstanding — and standing all day — as the cats went through intake, assessment, shots, testing and surgery. The vets worked in shifts and at least three cats were on operating tables at any one time. Snip volunteers prepared the cats for return to their “homes.”

Operation Snip’s Feb. 17 clinic was a milestone in the number of ferals done in one day, the number of animal groups participating (whether through donating traps and other equipment or trapping or transporting) and the level of commitment and generosity of Troy Veterinary Hospital. The Mohawk Hudson Humane Society and SCRUFF loaned surgical packs for the day. Troy Veterinary Hospital vets, vet techs and staff donated their time and skills all day. The teams assigned to each of the more than 10 trapping sites worked tirelessly to get as many cats as possible enrolled in Snip. Our network of volunteers grows with each round.

Operation Snip thanks everyone involved with the successful Feb. 17 spay/neuter clinic.

Operation Snip
Lynn M. Kopka
Deb Henderson
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Times Union Photos: Friends to felines

Photos: Friends to felines
Times Union, Feb. 17, 2013

Lynn Kopka, organizer and president of Troy City Council, holds a feral kitten at the Troy Veterinary Hospital during Operation Snip Round Two on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013 in Troy, NY. The program, funded through a grant, was done with a large group of volunteers and donations from Animal Support Project, Kitten Angels, Hope, Scruff, Troy Veterinary Hospital and Mohawk Hudson Humane Society along with other groups. Feral cats in the Lansingburgh area of Troy were trapped beginning on Thursday and then housed and cared for in a heated warehouse. On Sunday the cats then went in for surgery to spay or neuter them and other medical treatments before be returned to the warehouse for recovery. By Monday evening the cats will be returned to the area they were trapped in. Kopka said that any kittens caught would be adopted out but that the adult cats would be too aggressive towards humans. Kopka, also said that following this round they hope to receive a larger grant to continue the work to spay or neuter the feral cats in Troy. (Paul Buckowski / Times Union)

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