How Vet Tech Students Collaborate with Community to Help 400 Feral Cats

After hosting a fourth Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) day at Globe University-Appleton, more than 400 cats have been vaccinated, spayed or neutered thanks to many volunteers, students, and Wish Upon a Paw. Wish Upon a Paw is a local nonprofit organization and operates as a 100 percent volunteer-run, no-kill, foster-home-based animal welfare organization based in the Fox Cities.

Rebecca Lange, veterinary technology program chair at Globe University-Appleton, explained, “The purpose of this event is to spay or neuter and vaccinate feral cats. These cats belong to colonies, and have caretakers that are responsible for them. While these animals are critical for rodent control in many areas and help to eliminate the need for poisons, this event keeps the cat population under control.”

Lange added, “With the vaccines that we administer, we are also able to cut down on the amount of communicable diseases that can be spread through cat colonies.  After the cats are spayed or neutered, there is less fighting, which would otherwise contribute to the spread of disease.”

veterinary technology program

Globe University-Appleton vet tech students, alumni and staff, community members, and Wish Upon a Paw volunteers at TNR event hosted by Globe University-Appleton. Photo courtesy of Wish Upon a Paw.

Natalie Nelson, co-director of Wish Upon a Paw, said she found the program to be extremely successful. “We feel the TNR opportunity allowed students to have real ‘hands on’ experience. They see more than just the healthy wellness checks, instead seeing cats that are sick, hurting or in need of serious vet care,” she said.

Nelson went on to say, “We are so happy to have the students be a part of the program! It’s great to start grooming the next generation to appreciate animal welfare and see the great need for more support.”

A recent graduate from Globe University-Appleton’s veterinary technology program, Ruth Marquardt, came back to campus just to volunteer for this special event.

“Helping with the TNR events gives me a great opportunity to practice some skills I don’t get to practice as much at work. It’s a great networking opportunity, and I get to help make a huge impact on the feral cat population. It is a win/win situation all the way around,” Marquardt explained.

veterinary technology program

Recent Globe University-Appleton veterinary technology program graduate, Ruth Marquardt, volunteered during the recent TNR event. Photo courtesy of Wish Upon a Paw.

Lange also described the many benefits of students’ involvement at this type of event.

“This is a great experience for the students because they get to work in a fast paced environment to prepare them for their careers,” she said.

This year, students worked in several areas of the event process, including induction, where cats are given an injection of an anesthetic; surgical prep, where students shave and clean the surgical site; vaccine, antibiotic and antiparasitic administration; and recovery, where students make sure the cats are waking up properly from the anesthesia and alert the veterinarians on staff if there are any concerns.

With the total number of cats served soaring over 400 to date, Globe University-Appleton is excited to be a part of future Trap, Neuter, Release events with Wish Upon a Paw to save even more animals and gain great career experiences for our vet tech students.