Kingston’s Feral Cat Crisis and SNKI’s Role

There’s been a lot of media attention recently about Kingston’s feral cat crisis which we think is a great thing. Due to increased queries and questions concerning SNKI’s role in stepping down from managing the city’s TNVR program, we felt it important to offer a few clarifications.

The rescues and concerned citizens

We applaud everyone involved in helping what we consider to be the most vulnerable animals in our society; feral cats. A key thing to remember is that ferals aren’t wild animals. They come from within the community and they will continue to come from the community until the community member can afford to spay/neuter their animals. In other words, they are the direct result of unspayed/unneutered/unwanted animals.

The only way to combat this problem is by tackling it at the source; by providing a high-volume, low-cost spay neuter service. This solution has been proven to be effective in many other communities and it is not a competition against private practice vet clinics (link: In defense of low-cost, high-volume spay/neuter clinics). By focusing on providing quality and safe sterilization services these HVLC clinics or mobile units do not take the place of a vet’s office. There is no client relationship. By moving away from the animal control model to an animal services model; Kingston can follow in the steps of other successful Humane Societies like the Peterborough Humane Society and Welland OSPCA (with its mobile clinic) and join these innovative communities in proactively curbing pet overpopulation.

SNKI Steps down from running the City of Kingston’s TNVR program

SNKI has worked diligently running the City’s TNVR (trap/neuter/vaccinate and return) program since 2014. SNKI took on this task when the City approached SNKI with the understanding that this was to be an interim solution until a proper clinic could be developed. Despite ongoing efforts by SNKI to get a high-volume, reduced cost spay/neuter clinic up and running within the City, it was obvious towards the end of 2018 that this was not going to happen.

In November 2018, SNKI formally informed the City of Kingston that SNKI would no longer be running the program starting January 1st, 2019. The City was aware that we were stepping down 3 months prior to the final date given. Various agencies and members of the community were contacted to see if there was interest in taking on the program prior to the termination date. Unfortunately, SNKI was not successful and the matter was left to the city.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated volunteer and TNVR coordinator, Joanne B., who has put in a full-time, herculean effort running the city’s TNVR program – coordinating the schedules of vet clinics, trappers, concerned citizens and answering public questions and concerns about stray cats at the same time also running SNKI’s TNVR program as well. After 4 years of voluntarily overseeing the city’s program, and with no progress towards a permanent solution, our TNVR coordinator made the personal decision to step down.

SNKI recommended the Kingston Humane Society as the clear candidate to step in, however, in the end, the city turned to three local rescue groups to oversee the program based on a first come first serve premise. (Link: Three Groups Pick Up Feral Stray Cat Program.) We wish everyone great success and remain strong advocates for a high-volume low-cost spay/neuter initiative.

2018 Stats

# of Cats Fixed: 246
# of Cats/Kittens Adopted: 86
# of New Colonies: Big (5) Small (26)
# of Cats Returned to their Colonies: 152
# of Cats/Kittens Taken into Foster Care: 94

Amount spent by City of Kingston: $15,386.52. 
($10,000 transferred to voucher program in November of 2018).

Amount spent by SNKI for supplemental vet care (i.e. other surgeries, dental procedures, flea/tick treatments, bloodwork etc…):

$47,295.78 (North, South & Central Frontenac $17,529.86 and City of Kingston supplemental vet costs $29,765.92).

The City’s TNVR program has a budget of $25,000/year. There has been some confusion in the past with people mistakenly making the conclusion that SNKI was funded by the City. This is incorrect. Payments were sent directly to the participating vet clinics from the City of Kingston. SNKI has never received any monies from the City of Kingston.

SNKI is a registered non-profit charity organization/rescue group consisting of 100% volunteers and is completely dependent on charitable donors.

For more information on TNVR updates with the city click here…

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