TNR of Warren

TNR of Warren

In honor of the upcoming National Feral Cat Day, today we continue with highlighting people and groups who are doing their part to help feral and community cats. TNR of Warren, a group that was founded in September 2008, started “as a vision of what can be accomplished when a Trap-Neuter-Return organization, veterinarians and the community work together for the good of stray and feral cats.”

TNR of Warren, a 501(c)3 organization, is located in Warren, Ohio. They are not a shelter and they do not take in cats from the public for adoption. The group is strictly a trap-neuter-return organization.

Corky, who runs TNR of Warren, has been with the group since January 2009. In the past, Corky has volunteered at shelters, rescued cats and been on the boards of various rescues. But when Corky was adopted by a group of free roamers in her yard, she knew what her life’s mission was… “to help the unwanted cats of the shadows.”

To date, TNR of Warren has spayed and neutered close to 9,000 cats!

TNR of Warren, carriers lined up

A Conversation with Corky

What region do you cover?
We turn no cat away. We have fixed cats from Erie, Pennsylvania and into West Virginia and everywhere in between. If someone needs a community cat fixed, we jump in to help. We hold mini-clinics (9 cats) every week, bigger clinics (35 cats) twice a month, and our largest clinics (110 cats) every six weeks.

TNR of Warren van
Corky with the TNR of Warren van.

What is your group’s mission statement? 
“Our volunteer staff assists the community in trapping, neutering and returning feral cats to existing managed colonies. We assist caregivers by providing shelters and food to these colonies. We provide low-cost spaying and neutering to low income families within the community. We educate the public on the role of feral cats within the animal population and the need for population control among all felines.”

What is the hardest thing about doing TNR?
Trapping an amazing cat, which is super feral, and knowing the best we can do for the cat is to fix it, vaccinate it and return it because a warm cozy home full of love is not an option.

TNR of Warren, cat in carrier

What would you say is a common misconception about TNR?
People are always telling me “I can’t trap” and after some hands-on training, they come to a clinic with smiles on their faces and say “I did it!”

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in starting TNR, either individually or with a group?
Just start, the rest will follow. We began when several ladies attended a graduation party at a local park. There were cats everywhere and people were complaining. One of the ladies was a veterinarian and they all decided that they had to do something – and TNR of Warren began. That park, with over 100 cats in it, now has a managed colony of 10 cats. We monitor it closely. We adopt out any friendly cats that are dumped there and immediately fix every cat. TNR works and this park is proof.

That’s great that you are able to adopt out friendly cats who are dumped at a colony. Are you able to adopt out any of the community cats? 
Sometimes, if they are borderline. We have adopted out mousers to some businesses.

Do you partner with any other rescues? 
Yes, Angels for Animals offers us discounted spays and neuters and has taken some adoptable cats from us. Cats are People Too works very closely with us to get any kittens adopted.

TNR of Warren, momma cat and her kittens

Is there a particular cat that stands out in your mind? 
Bernie! Bernie showed up at my colony about eight years ago during a very harsh winter. He always hung way back and would run at any hint of movement. I tried and tried to coax him in closer. He seemed to have a hurt paw and I wanted to trap him, get him fixed and his paw examined. Gradually winter became spring and still no progress with Bernie. I always put out extra food near where I would see him. Then one day I saw that his paw was even worse, even though I was putting antibiotics in his food. He would never go near the trap. The next day I came out and he was in the yard. He tried to get up and run, but he could not. I ran for a towel, scooped him up and dashed for the vet’s office. She examined him and said it was too late, the infected paw had sent poison all through his body. He hardly had any color. I hugged him and told him how much I loved him and how beautiful and wonderful he was as she helped him cross to the Rainbow Bridge. Right before he did, he let out a sigh and looked at me as if to say I always loved you too and thank you. Then he was gone. I will never forget him.

Corky of TNR of Warren
Corky and one of the community cats.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?
In my off time (LOL I use that term loosely), I am in a Coaster club and have been all over the USA riding roller coasters.

Thank you to Corky for sharing with us TNR of Warren! You can connect with the group via their website, Facebook and Instagram. If you would like to donate, you can do so through the PayPal button on their website.

Are there any TNR groups in your area?

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  1. Wow, I am impressed as heck with TNR of Warren! Also, I can attest that I am the biggest wuss on the planet, but I’ve trapped many cats now (my backyard feral colony is three!), including re-trapped some, and if I can do it, ANYONE CAN! Yay, TNR of Warren!

  2. What a wonderful group………..the story of Bernie is so tender – and I love that Bernie truly knew REAL love even if it was one of the last things he felt before he left for the Bridge – Miss Corky is my hero!

    Love, Sammy

  3. Great organization with a wonderful mission, I love their story. TNR definitely works, it’s the most humane way to deal with feral cat colonies. It’s been shown that removing (which often means euthanizing) cats from a colony doesn’t help – more cats will move in to take the place of those removed. Stopping the reproduction within the colony should be the goal.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv them

  4. Well now we’re all cryin’. Fanks fur helpin’ Bernie. We so wish his story coulda had a happier endin’. But we know there are so many Bernies in da world. Fanks fur what you do. Fanks fur sharin’ da story.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Raena

    1. Yes food lure. We have found warmed up rotisserie chickens from Walmart or Sams Club bring them running especially if you withhold food for 24 hours before you trap.

  5. Many many thanks to Corky and her program. We cried when we read about Bernie but the saddest part of the innerview was that they’ve fixed 9000 cats. It’s sad that there are that many in just such a small area. Imagine 9000 all over the country in small areas. It adds up.

  6. What an inspiration they all are, and 9.000! That is truly incredible. I love how receptive the community has been, so important in a successful TNR program. My neighbour and I are caring for a few cats (had them fixed, built shelters…), and the grief we got from the ignorant neighbours was startling, and boy did it make me angry. I tried, calmly, to explain what we were doing, why, how it would help everybody and they wouldn’t have it. We had to go out late at night to help.

  7. Another amazing post, showing amazing peeps, doing amazing things fur those beautiful little souls! Thank you fur always posting such great stories, we love them!


    Basil & Co xox

  8. We KNOW TNR works, we have seen it in action with Project Bay Cat (we were so excited to visit that for real so we blogged!!!!) and it works there. IT DAMNED WELL WORKS. So any dumbo who tells you it doesn’t is wrong. Maybe we should all march to Bawaii and tell them!!!

    RIP Bernie.

  9. What a wonderful group! Working with feral cats is a special talent that not everyone has. You have to be willing to accept that you may expend a lot of love and energy, but not receive a lot of affection in the end. It is emotionally difficult to accept that you can’t save the entire world too. I give people like the ones in this organization a lot of credit for what they do.

  10. 9,000 cats?! What a wonderful group! Thrilled to learn about them! As an adopter of a neighborhood feral cat (my daughter befriended and rehabilitated), I’m so happy to hear about amazing groups like this! Thank you for writing about them. Pinning to my Mews News board!

  11. Great post! I wish more communities had similar programs, as there is such a significant population of stray and feral cats in towns and cities. Sometimes niche organizations like this can help to reduce the financial burden that would be on other rescue organizations who might have to choose between other medical care or spay and neuter procedures.