“We let the public decide what they want rather than assuming what they want.”
When Monica Frenden lived in rural Illinois, she didn’t expect to start a TNR program. What started as a commitment to getting her own cats spayed and neutered exploded into a community-wide support and demand for feline spay-neuter services. Monica began taking her own barn cats to be spayed and neutered in Chicago, the closest resource at a distance of just over 100 miles. Eventually word got around, and neighbors began to approach her about the possibility of taking their own cats to Chicago. Monica was astounded by the overwhelming need for this service—pretty soon she was taking about 50 cats a week!
In part one of this two-part episode, Monica delves into her origin story in animal welfare services, and talks about the wildly successful barn cat program she started all of those years ago in rural Illinois. Monica basically had to teach herself how to run a TNR program—attending conferences and trainings on her own time in order to ensure the best possible care for the community felines.
Stay tuned for part two, in which Stacy and Monica discuss in more detail Monica’s current work at Austin Pets Alive!