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Dr. Graham Brayshaw, Director of Animal Services at Animal Humane Society: “We’ve got to sterilize absolutely everyone we can.”

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Dr. Graham Brayshaw, a 2004 graduate of Texas A&M’s veterinary school, is both the chief veterinarian and the director of animal services for the Animal Humane Society (AHS), an organization based in the twin cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Brayshaw’s interest in animal welfare and community cats began when he did a rotation through local shelters in vet school, and in 2012, he accepted a role at AHS. AHS took in over 23,000 animals last year, including 11,000 cats (which includes some cats transported from partner agencies). The agency has a 96% placement rate and runs an active community cats program, along with a low-cost veterinary care program. Stacy and Dr. Brayshaw talk about how community cat management differs in a part of the country where frigid winter temperatures make life outside even more difficult for cats, and how this affects programs like return to field (RTF). They also discuss how AHS’s community cat program got started, and how they learned that running a targeted TNR program is not always as easy as identifying an area with a large human population, or even an area where most of your shelter intakes come from. As AHS has moved on from the initial years of their community cat program, TNR has become less of a focus, and instead they are spending more time and energy on RTF and on building relationships with members of community who are already working with cats, like caretakers and rescuers. To learn more about their community cat and other programs, visit Animal Humane Society’s website.

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