We would like to distinguish the difference between what we promote, ie. CNRM and what is sometimes done by certain rescuers, ie. TNR.
CNRM stands for C=Care, N=Neuter, R = Return-to-Colony and M=Manage. In CNRM, we cannot over-emphasise how important the C = CARE component is. Caring begins right from the start in catching the animal in a humane manner, getting the animal neutered when the vet opines the animal is healthy enough to go through the surgery, looking after the animal post-op until full recovery, returning the animal to the colony (only if it is safe) and continue caring for (managing) the animal for the rest of his/her life. Managing includes daily feeding, getting the animal vaccinated for protection against diseases, taking the animal to the vet when he/she is sick. In short, looking after the animal for the rest of his/her natural life.
Returning the neutered animals to the colony and managing them well is the key to population control of street animals. Neutered animals will protect the colony and prevent new animals from migrating in. “Where they are born is where they belong” – many street animals are probably happier living a life of freedom. However, the key to keeping the neutered animals within the colony is to continue caring for them.
Street animals can also contract various kinds of diseases, some of which are curable or at least, they can be given nursing or palliative care if they have a caregiver. For example, sporotrichosis is curable. Those with kidney degeneration, cancer and other terminal diseases can be given palliative care. Even liver disease is also sometimes curable. So, if left on their own, street animals who contract diseases will suffer and maybe die a slow and painful death. This is one of the reasons we emphasize on C=Care and this caring must continue all their lives (M=Manage).
By continuing to feed the neutered animals in a responsible way, this would reduce the chances of the animals foraging dustbins for food. Some of the CNRM-feeders we have spoken to even go the extra mile of picking up faeces or preparing litter boxes for their neutered cats. By doing all this, the chances of complaints from neighbours would also be reduced. In some cases, such acts of compassion by CNRM-feeders can create a chain effect and acts as a good example for others to follow.
CNRM involves all of the above and that is why we strongly suggest to practise One-Street CNRM so that one doesn’t burn out having to care for too many.
TNR refers to Trap-Neuter-Release. There is no M=Manage component in it. We know that some rescuers do this and some of the animals are even released in a different place and the rescuer does not keep track of the animal anymore after that.
We have been talking with some of our applicants and we came to know that some of them don’t keep track of their neutered animals (with funds aided by us) at all. We are getting answers like, “Don’t know, killed in accident, maybe?”, “Maybe ran away?”, “Maybe caught by council?”, “Maybe poisoned?”. We totally understand that once released or returned-to-colony, the animal can be subject to many kinds of dangers and we accept this, but it’s the nonchalant “don’t know” response that is very troubling.
We also do not deny that neutering-and-releasing is better than not neutering at all. However, when it comes to using our organisation’s hard-earned donations, we expect a bit more from rescuers especially when we adopt pro-life values.
In TNR, there is also a higher chance that the neutered animals will migrate elsewhere because there is no feeder providing food or caring for them. Once they migrate out, new unneutered animals will come into the territory. Thus, it’s a never-ending story and the colony might never be stabilised.
So, please continue caring for these animals after they have been neutered. Please do your best to manage the colony.
We owe it to our donors and supporters to ensure that their donations are used effectively and will not be wasted.
We have many applicants who tell us that after a few years of CNRM, their colonies have indeed stabilised and they only have to look after the neutered animals within the colony. This is One-Street CNRM and it should not be financially draining or too stressful because the feeder does it within his/her means. Keep it small and manageable.
If any rescuer wishes to use their own money to do TNR, do go ahead but if you are using the funds from others, then there has to be more and higher accountability to care for the animals as our ultimate aim is to build a community that cares for street animals and effectively control the street animal population.
This also applies to those who act as an “agent” for neutering. They help other caregivers get the animals neutered but they do not look after the animals after that. Again, this is not wrong, but if you are only an “agent” for neutering, you also not practising CNRM, so please do consider using your own money for this.
With the above vision, we shall be implementing the project-based application and we will ask for more details from each application.