Amoruso Way, Lincoln, California
Located near Thunder Valley Casino, Amoruso Way (formerly known as Toad Hill) was filled with several years’ generations of unaltered cats living amongst the community, residing in barns and other outbuildings. They were surviving on rodents, stolen food from residents’ pets, and handouts from a few kind people. No one took responsibility for “owning” the cats. They freely bred until they were noticed as a neighborhood nuisance. Diane Hilbert, Neighborhood Watch Coordinator and the unofficial “mayor” of Amoruso Way, saw the problem and and how it was getting worse when the 2007 kitten season arrived.
Diane contacted FieldHaven and volunteers immediately got to work on Operation Amoruso. Thanks to FieldHaven’s SNAP (Spay Neuter Assistance Program), funded by PetSmart Charities, we were able to commit to financing the spaying and neutering of all of the cats and kittens. We could also provide equipment (traps, cages, etc) and transportation to the spay/neuter clinic. What we were short on was the people-power to trap, recover, and care for the cats and we could not provide relocation for any of the adult feral cats. Residents didn’t mind caring for the altered cats, especially because they provided terrific rodent control.
Diane communicated almost daily to FieldHaven volunteers (including SNAP coordinator Maryanne Sehl) with the status of the project. Early on, Diane began trapping a number of kittens. Most were healthy but there were several that came from two very malnourished moms. After establishing we weren’t dealing with FeLV or panleukopenia, FieldHaven foster mom Penny Dougherty became the ICU “nurse” to give these sick cats a chance. Penny did an outstanding job and had an excellent track record of tiny saved lives to show for her round the clock dedication.
Yvonne Morales became the primary foster mom for healthier kittens, especially those needing socialization. She did such an excellent job with socialization that her first Amoruso litter of six kittens were all adopted the first day they were presented for adoption! Back-up foster moms, Marty Sutton and Susanne Munkdale, took in the overflow that Yvonne and Penny did not have room for.
About a month into the project, Diane Cochran, who has foster experience, jumped in to help Diane Hilbert. Diane C. helped with trapping, recovering, and caring for trapped kittens until being transferred to FieldHaven foster homes.