Program helping control feral cat population

It’s not uncommon to see cats on the street and think nothing of it. McCracken County’s Humane Society says there are a lot of feral cats in our area, but no one is keeping records. A trap neuter-return program is now helping start the record-keeping while helping to control the population.

Kathy Gagnon lives near S 5th St. in Paducah and was overwhelmed with the cat population in her neighborhood. She went to Facebook for help and Christa Dailey answered.

Dailey raised money to spay and neuter 13 cats. She fixed a couple more on her own until this TNR program started. She says it’s wonderful.

“If there were more people doing this it would really cut down the population,” Dailey said.

McCracken County’s Humane Society Executive Director Terry Vannerson says they received a $10,000 grant from PetSmart Charities that helps them spay and neuter stray cats.

“It’s been a challenge and it’s new for us but I think it will be great for the community,” Vannerson said.

She says they could really use the public’s help finding cat colonies.  A cat colony is considered to have 15 or more cats. They’ve helped thin out at least 12 cat colonies in McCracken county, and they have money to fix 100 more cats.

People with cat colonies can sign up for the program at the humane society. They would take a trap home, trap the cat, and take it to be spayed or neutered at the humane society. One of the cat’s ears are clipped to keep track of them and they have to be released where they came from for data purposes.

Its requirements Kathy Gagnon doesn’t mind because she enjoys taking care of the cats in her neighborhood who are now not re-populating.

“If I’ve had a bad day or something I’ll come out here and sit with them and it makes everything better,” Gagnon said.

The McCracken County’s Humane Society can spay or neuter any cat as long as it does not look sickly and is having trouble breathing. The cat could have feline leukemia which has no cure. In those cases, grant money could be used on to euthanize the cat. The disease is communicable and can spread to the entire colony and future litters. Vannerson describes feline leukemia like AIDS in the way it can spread.

 If you know of one contact the McCracken County Humane Society at (270) 443-5923 . The program runs until May.

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