It’s Hip to be Tipped (LUYE Program) – How To Become a CAT Crusader in Haywood County!

It's Hip to be Tipped

Become a Community Cat Crusader in Haywood County!

See community cats in your community? Think somebody should do something? TAG. YOU’RE IT. After 13 years, Haywood County’s only TNR (Trap‐Neuter‐Return) cat program, LUYE, is retiring. A new staging facility and volunteers are urgently needed to continue this vital program.

Space Is Urgently Needed!

Founder and Executive Director of Lend Us Your Ear (LUYE), Susan Kumpf has dedicated space at her home that serves as the current TNR staging facility and cattery.  Now, after over 13 years of service, she must step back from its demands. Unlike some counties across the nation, TNR is not among the responsibilities assigned to Haywood County’s Animal Services Department. Spay/neuter of community cats is shouldered by individuals and rescue groups and funded by grants and individual donations.

Sister Kitten, a TNR organization that operates in counties other than Haywood, found success using an underground garage in Asheville for their staging purposes. “Unfortunately, we are overwhelmed with the needs of other counties to undertake adding Haywood County to our trapping list,” explained Eric Phelps, Executive Director of Sister Kitten.

TNR in Haywood County

TNR (Trap Neuter Return) is the humane way to control free roaming cat populations. TNR is when stray cats are trapped, fixed and returned to their environment. Prior to 2009, no organized groups were doing TNR in Haywood County. “In March 2009 with the help of a small grant, Haywood Spay/Neuter launched a trap‐neuter (TNR) program with the help of Penny Wallace.” said Susan Kumpf, founder of LUYE. “I was proudly part of the team that eartipped 388 cats in the first year.” Kumpf recalls. Since then over 8,000 community cats have been trapped, neutered and returned to their original sites. Half of those 8,000 TNR’d cats were female whose spay prevented.

Become a Community Cat Crusader in Haywood County!

At least one litter each. Without TNR? Well, if each of those 4,000 females had only one surviving litter of 4, our neighborhoods would have had another 16,000 high high‐risk kittens born since 2009. And that’s only one litter per female, an impossible wish. And those 16,000 kittens would begin mating by 5 months old with delivery in two months!

Volunteers remain the solution for now

LUYE’s TNR volunteers work in teams; most are retirees. Team members plan to continue trapping into 2023 or as long as their age permits and a new staging area and scheduler can be found. Most have been trapping for years and offer tips to community cat feeders. “We love sharing our expertise with community cat feeders and new, younger volunteers,” said Carolyn Foster, a TNR advocate and one of LUYE’s Eartip Team members. LUYE’s wellness program (cat food, urgent care for eartips, and parasite control) will continue into 2023, but keeping TNR active in

Haywood County requires:

1. Establishing a new, managed cattery space before the end of the year,
2. Filling the helpline volunteer spot to take calls, scheduling sites,
3. Filling the transport volunteer spot to drive trapped cats to/from Asheville weekly for surgery.

Keep Haywood a no‐kill county

We cannot adopt our way out of unchecked litters. If community cats are fixed, the county shelter and local rescues are not overwhelmed by multiplying litters and unwanted cats. Haywood County’s no‐kill status is maintained year after year not only due to TNR, but also as a result of the continued effort by groups such as Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation and Feline Urgent Rescue of WNC (FUR) and low cost spay/neuter services through Haywood Spay/Neuter. Just as important, our modern shelter (which opened in 2018) provides well‐maintained spaces and a friendly staff dedicated to the care and adoption of cats and dogs alike. But shelter space and foster care settings are limited and expensive.

You Are Urgently Needed!

If you love cats and appreciate the impact made through TNR, then your time to volunteer is NOW. If you have or know of a staging area location to use, please call Susan at 828‐550‐3662 or Become a part of a dedicated, vital group; you’ll receive support and guidance from a team of like-minded cat lovers who get things done.

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