FURR was created in April 2002 in response to the proposition of euthanizing the stray cat population on campus by the University of Mississippi.
The cats living in ‘the Village’ (family housing) were the primary colony causing the controversy. Lisa Hartman, a University staff member, spearheaded the efforts to persuade University officials to try TNR (trap/neuter/return/manage) instead of euthanization as a means to control the colony. With much help from Alley Cat Allies and other campus cat organizations, her efforts were rewarded with an opportunity to see if TNR would be acceptable.
Bonnie Reid from the Housing Department generously donated traps and storage space in the Village to make the process easier. Ole Miss Staffers volunteered time and resources to aide with trapping, and supplementing the feeding of the colony. Feeding stations were established throughout campus, and have been moved as the colonies migrated.
As a Student Organization
We were recognized as a student organization by the University in November 2002 and have been allowed to continue the practicing of TNR on campus with no further suggestions for euthanization. Students are an invaluable resource in terms of fundraising efforts, much needed manpower, and trapping. The enthusiasm and focus has helped FURR to continue to thrive.
As the organization grew, some of the members of FURR recognized a need for a similar service in the Oxford-Lafayette Community, and 9 Lives Cat Rescue was established. 9 Lives is a no-kill cat shelter, and works to match surrendered or stray animals with new forever homes. This is significant to FURR, because human-friendly felines often appear on campus.