On 1/2/2016, A Cat's Friend Inc. (ACF) officially took on the lead role in Operation Hood. Operation Hood is a special project providing sorely needed assistance to a long standing (10 year) existing 150+ cat colony located on a well drilling property in Fredericksburg, VA. The cats are living in desperate conditions and the caregiver historically has been unable to provide minimal feeding, watering, sheltering, TNR, and veterinary care of the cats. Two efforts were made in 2007 and 2009 to TNR the cats but no follow up was provided to assist the caretaker. Some of the cats are desperately ill and emaciated.
In cooperation with Spotsylvania Animal Control and the nationally prominent Alley Cat Allies, ACF is launching a multiphase project to upgrade the two existing shed shelters for cats on the property, provide interim shelter from winter weather to the cats in the form of handmade feral cat shelters until permanent shelters can be provided and taking into foster care the cats who are ill and providing veterinary care for them. Going forward a massive TNR effort will begin in February financed by Alley Cat Allies and staffed by experienced feral cat volunteers. TNR will continue until all cats are spayed and neutered. Cats who have been previously TNR'ed will receive exams, vaccinations and veterinary care. Since this site has been a publicly known dumping ground for previously owned domesticated cats, an ancillary effort is made to take into foster care those cats and find permanent homes for them.
The final phase of Operation Hood is to remove the cats from public view and draw them to a permanent colony in the woods on the back of the two acre well drilling property, install the permanent feral shelters and feeding station and form the permanent team of local volunteers who will manage the colony to include daily feeding and watering, and monitoring the colony for new cats who need TNR and cats who need emergency veterinary care. These volunteers will be under the auspices of ACF.
ACF has taken the lead in this project because it has 10 years of experience in cat colony care and has seasoned volunteers to form the network of multiple agencies who can complete the project. ACF also is undertaking the applications for grants for spay/neuter, veterinary care, and materials needed for upgrading shelter and feeding and providing for permanent shelters and feeding stations. Currently the caretaker has been throwing dry food on the ground and filling mud puddles with water in an attempt to feed and water the cats.