Program in Iowa Launched to Help Feral Cats!
3 November, 2016
Lanie Fritz, a cat-lover, often takes in cats and kittens. This caring has turned into organizing a group to tackle an overwhelming feral cat population in Burlington and Des Moines County. She came across this idea when learning about a colony of feral house cats living in a building nearby where about twenty cats were living in an abandoned garage.
And that one place hardly is alone as the only colony of wild felines in Burlington or the surrounding countryside. In addition to out-of-control breeding, feral cats also are subject to disease.
Fritz and her fellow compatriot, Nathalie Girod dipped into their own pockets to help feral cats
Fritz and Girod have dipped into their own pocketbooks, and know of others who have done so too, for many years. That kind of undertaking is sustainable only for so long and it will be more than a piecemeal effort to get the feral cat population under control.
They are partnering with veterinarians to have the cats spayed to prevent over-breeding
With money and the availability of facilities where neutering and spaying procedures can be performed, Fritz and Girod hope to partner with Iowa City veterinarian Jeanne Hedges, who brings her “One Spay At a Time” program to Fairfield once a month to spay and neuter cats at discounted rates. Volunteers, primarily people who trap the cats and bring them to be fixed, will be necessary to keep each cat for two or three days after surgery.
After recovery, the feral cats will either be up for adoption or let back in the community
After a couple of days of recovery, the cats would be released back into the community. While some cats might be eligible for adoption, most won’t. Animal shelters already are overloaded with cats and Fritz and Girod won’t turn them over for euthanasia. By limiting the cats’ ability to breed, the feral population eventually will stabilize and then decline, they say. That, in turn, will help reduce the spread of disease.
They hope to get people who feed feral cats to help and take responsibility.
They are first looking to the people who already are befriending and feeding feral cats. People who feed feral cats, they feel, have a special responsibility because the steady food source contributes to more frequent procreation. A feral female can have up to four litters a year which exacerbates the problem. The organization’s scope will be limited to feral house and barn cats.
They hope to get a nonprofit status to help cover some grants
Nonprofit status to enable tax-deductible donations and to qualify for grants to cover surgical costs is a goal, Fritz said, but achieving it is a complicated process. Donated legal advice would help to address some of those questions. Donations of food and traps also are needed. In some cases, cats that are trapped may need veterinary treatment, or are sick and must be euthanized. Money to support those possibilities is needed, too.
This story was first reported from: The Hawk Eye.