Written by Hannelore Tepper
Around August 2013, I came across a local Tucson trailer park and saw some cats running loose. She came to discover that Ron who was living in one of the trailers had been feeding the cats. The trailer park was going to be torn down soon and people already moved out.
Right then the colony of cats had at least some shelter, living under the trailers, and were getting food and water.
Ron seemed to think maybe there were 6 or 8 cats; none were altered. They were at the trailer park for 10 years or more. Many died from coyotes or sickness.
It did not seem to me to be such a big burden to add them to the rescues I already had. My goal became to save the colony, before all the trailers would be torn down. So I decided to build them a new Colony Cottage and enclosure at my home.
While building the sanctuary I would go visit the cats and bring better food. As the trailer park colony rescue continued, eventually 25 scared and hungry beauties were rescued. The trailers were being torn down one by one and I actually paid the tear down crew a little extra to hold off on one of the last trailers until the last cat was trapped.
The saga took around 6 months. many nights on watch, and some tearful and wonderful moments. I was mostly alone in this. Ron an older man who had been feeding the cats for years helped set traps in the beginning and did bring about 6 cats to me when they went into the traps, some in the middle of the night.
I also recruited help from Debbie a local TNR to help on trapping/neuter, plus a couple of other local trapping specialists.
Finally, we got them all, and in the meantime had a colony cottage and top line fencing enclosure built specific for this colony. They now have a new safe home. The sacrifice and effort was worth it, but work still continued; getting them fixed and medical check-ups, some feral cats do not want to go easily. I have to bring in a vet tech Becky to help capture on vet visit days.
These cats are only a lucky few of unwanted cats that roam our country. Many could be helped and are being helped by Trap, Neuter and Release programs
On a mission
I am proud to say I took on a mission to save this colony. These cats now have a home and good food and safety. By sharing the lives of the animals I took in, I hope that this story will inspire you to help as many as you can.