Mary Cerniglia-Mosher

MEET A REAL-LIFE HERO – Mary Cerniglia-Mosher

We would like you to meet a real life hero. Her name is Mary Cerniglia-Mosher. Since October of 2016, Mary has pretty much single handedly completed the Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) of over 1,090 feral cats right here in our own Southern Maryland community.

The Humane Society of Charles County (HSCC) Friends Forever Community Outreach Trap Neuter Return (TNR) Program was launched in the fall of 2016 via generous grants from The Petco Foundation and The Snyder Foundation for Animals to help combat the overpopulation of feral cats in our community through free spay/neuter services. The program was the result of an HSCC vision to help community cats.  However, what was needed to make it a resounding success was someone to run the program, but this would not be an easy set of shoes to fill due to the time and focus it would require.  Mary Cerniglia-Mosher stepped up to that challenge and volunteered, putting her passion, drive and dedication to excellence to work making the HSCC TNR program a resounding success in helping animals and giving back to the community.  She has been a force to reckon with ever since making sure Southern Maryland feral cat colony caretakers get the TNR help they need with their “free roaming community cats”, or “feral” homeless cats as people like to call them, to prevent overpopulation, starvation and the spread of disease.  It is unprecedented in our area that one person has been able to successfully provide TNR help to over 1,090 feral cats within a 15-month time frame.  This is why Mary Cerniglia-Mosher is a true hero.

Let us explain why this is so important as well as the far-reaching magnitude of what Mary has helped to single handedly achieve in our Southern Maryland community alone through the HSCC Friends Forever Community Outreach TNR Program.  We all know that cat populations grow rapidly, with the average female cat having at least three litters a year with an average litter size of five.  Gestation is only about two months.  Cats can become pregnant as early as four-six months of age.  Kittens born in the spring can have their own litters by fall.  Spay, neuter, vaccination and ear tipping of community feral cats help stabilize and improve the health of outdoor cat populations.  The key benefit of TNR is preventing the birth of the growing population of community cats thus reducing the burden on rescues, shelters and the community to find homes for them in addition to ensuring their health and care.

TNR Cats

In the last fifteen months, the HSCC TNR Program lead by Mary has TNR’d 1,090 community cats.  If 50% of the 1,090 cats were female, these 545 females could potentially have 8,175 kittens (545 females X 3 litters X 5-kittens) in the first year.  With some of the early spring kittens having their own litters by the end of the first year as well, the realistic estimate climbs to over 10,000 kittens potentially being born in the FIRST year alone.  Of those year one kittens, approximately half (5,000) would be female and having more kittens during year two.  Populations increase exponentially and rapidly in cat populations.  In year TWO (had the female cats not been spayed), original female cats and early kitten populations would have produced the same number from year one and in year two.  Additionally, in year two, the 5,000 female kittens would have produced 75,000 more kittens (3 litters of 5 kittens each).  That’s just crazy as the potential new kitten totals for year two would now be 85,000 (10,000+75,000).  TNR of the original 545 females in year one, saved the birth of 10,000 kittens in year one and 75,000 kittens in year two.  Now you can why Mary’s hard work, dedication, and passionate work has saved potentially 85,000 unwanted feral kittens from being born.  Please note that these numbers can be influenced by disease and other hazards from living outdoors.)

The value of the HSCC Friends Forever Community Outreach TNR Program is to keep the outdoor, feral community “cats” out of the shelter and in the colony’s where they belong by controlling their population overgrowth.  In addition to the TNR cats being spayed and/or neutered, they are also vaccinated, dewormed and ear tipped prior to being returned to their feral cat colony via the HSCC TNR Program tirelessly run by Mary.  The TNR Program directly facilitates feral cat colony caretaker’s to adequately care for the community cats by reducing the number of unwanted kittens thus controlling the cat population and helping keep the feral community cat colonies healthy.

But our hero wasn’t done with just TNR work, Mary took the program a step further to include providing food, supplies and limited community cat medical assistance.  In 2017 alone, Mary distributed over 4,000 pounds of pet food as well as bowls, beds, shelter and supplies in addition to building cat houses for colony caregivers, holding numerous educational seminars and teaching county residents how to care for their feral cat colonies.

Mary is a true hero in helping the animals in our community live better, healthier lives by helping their caregivers through The Humane Society of Charles County (HSCC) Friends Forever Community Outreach Trap Neuter Return (TNR) Program.  We need more kind hearted, dedicated people like Mary in this world to provide tireless, relentless service to those in need.

MARY, WE APPLAUD YOU AND WE THANK YOU.

If you would like to volunteer to help Mary, please email tnrhumanesocietycharlescounty@gmail.com.