61 Ways to Curb Feline Population Growth

Veterinary technology degree, vet tech, Globe University-Madison West, Dane County Friends of Ferals

Veterinary Technology student, Vanessa Arboleda applies flea treatment to a cat.

Students in the veterinary technology degree program spent their Saturday participating in the Dane County Friends of Ferals monthly spayathon hosted by Globe University-Madison West.

Veterinary technology students from Globe University-Madison West and Madison College as well as veterinary students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison joined forces with licensed vets and vet techs to spay and neuter 61 feral cats, thereby helping to curb feline overpopulation.

Friends of Ferals, which was founded in 2001, applies the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) method which helps alleviate the cat overpopulation problem. To date, their efforts helped more than 4,000 feral cats in Dane County.

Globe University-Madison West veterinary technology students spent the day observing and participating in the busy spay/neuter clinic. Students prepped the cats for surgery, which included expressing bladders, giving injections that help with pain and parasite prevention, conducting physical exams, checking respiration and hear rates, and shaving and scrubbing the surgical areas.

For those students who volunteered for the first time, it was an exciting and rewarding experience.

Sheryl Jones, veterinary technology student, shared her thoughts.

“This is really exciting,” Sheryl said. “I’m learning how to give injections, expressing bladders, and surgery prep work as well as conducting general physical exams. The Trap-Neuter-Return program is very beneficial and it is the only scientific method to control the cat population so I think it’s really important to do.”

Veterinary technology degree, vet tech, Globe University-Madison West, Dane County Friends of Ferals

Amanda Lloyd, veterinary technology student prepares a cat for surgery by shaving it's belly.

Amanda Lloyd, student in the veterinary technology program, added, “This is the first time here so I was a little overwhelmed, but it’s going well now. I learned about where to give vaccinations, I got to prepare cats for surgery by shaving their bellies and clean their ears as well.”

For students who previously participated, it was a great way to practice leadership and help new students as well as the cats.

“This is my second time volunteering at the Friends of Ferals monthly spayathon,” said Vanessa Arboleda, student in the veterinary technology program. “I feel like this is a great opportunity for new students to get great hands-on experience. I think those students who volunteer are going to be way ahead next time they volunteer and it’s just a great opportunity to learn.  The spay day went very well; I’ve helped out new students in familiarizing them with the routine of surgery prep. I’m happy to be helping today.”

Veterinary technology degree, vet tech, Globe University-Madison West, Dane County Friends of Ferals

Chelsea Bauman, veterinary technology student conducts a physical exam on a cat.

Amber Eder, vet tech student, added, “This is my second time volunteering. I liked participating; I liked the busyness of getting the cats in and out of surgery. It’s really fun. I like the trauma and surgery environment, so prepping the cats for surgery is really enjoyable. I’m really excited for those students who are experiencing this for the first time because they will learn a lot today. It’s nice to get the extra experience and help the cause.”

The next Friends of Ferals spayathon hosted by Globe University-Madison West will be on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012.