Cat colony TNR volunteers become dedicated Best Friends volunteers

When Best Friends went out to Virginia to conduct a three-day seminar on trap/neuter/return (TNR) back in 2001, a couple of friends decided to attend. At the time, they were helping to care for a feral colony of some 50 cats. Little did the two friends know what this would set in motion.

Two dedicated Best Friends volunteers

After the seminar, Sherri Jefferies and Lane Killam decided to make the trip to Best Friends to see what it was all about. They haven’t missed a year since! They try to come in October because that’s the birthday month for both of them. Recently, Sherri just made her eighth trip. (They couldn’t come together this year because of different schedules. Lane is coming a week later.) For seven years, the two friends have enjoyed volunteering at the sanctuary.

Sherri says the first year she volunteered in all the different animal areas to get a feel for the whole place. But now, she has a special spot in her heart for the cats—but even at Best Friends’ Cat World, she has a hard time choosing which buildings to visit. In fact, the cat caregivers know her so well that they fight over her as a volunteer when she’s in town!

TNR success

But an interesting thing has happened over the years. Remember that colony of 50 cats? It’s now down to around 15. They implemented a TNR program and the births stopped. Now, it’s a very mature colony. The only trapping they do these days is for sick cats who need vet care.

Sharing knowledge with other animal organizations

Sherri also volunteers at other animal organizations back home. And each time she visits Best Friends, she comes away with something she can share with the other groups. Once she even presented a slide show set to music. The slide show was all about the special-needs cats at Best Friends and how they are cared for.

Quite possibly, whoever presented the seminar all those years ago in Virginia has no idea what he or she set in motion for these two attendees. But the animals at Best Friends, as well as all the animals that Sherri and Lane work with back home, are the better for it.

Photo of Sherri Jefferies and cats by Sarah Ause

Keep up-to-date with Best Friends’ workshops and seminars by bookmarking the Events page.