A local advocate of a countywide Trap-Neuter-Return program in Lebanon County is running a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for his efforts.
Mark Payonk of Myerstown told LebTown in March that, after seeing successful TNR programs launched in Cornwall, South Lebanon and Richland, he had high hopes of taking the concept countywide.
A TNR program does exactly what the name suggests: Feral cats are trapped, neutered and vaccinated by a participating veterinarian, then returned to the area where they were found so they can live out their lives without breeding and expanding the feral cat population. The cats also have an ear notched so they can be easily identified as having been fixed.
Payonk’s fledgling organization, dubbed Lebanon County Community Cats, is starting slow, he told LebTown earlier this year. He plans to begin small, initially addressing needs in the Myerstown area.
He also hopes to acquire 501c3 nonprofit status for the program, but only after he has enough volunteers involved to keep the program moving forward. Once he has collected enough data to show the program’s success, Payonk would like to approach county officials for funding.
In the meantime, he started a GoFundMe campaign for a modest $1,000 in startup funds. “Please make a donation to help purchase traps and cover the cost of spay/neutering and any additional medical expenses as needed,” he says on the GoFundMe page.
As of Aug. 16, the campaign had raised $450 toward the $1,000 goal.
Payonk said he also was given a grant through SpayUSA for $350 “to help cover the costs of spay/neutering of 14 feral cats within Lebanon County.”
For more information on the countywide TNR effort, visit Lebanon County Community Cats on Facebook.
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