Chances are, most people who have outdoor cats take care of them. They feed these little guys, provide them with water and give them safe spaces for sleeping at night. That's what I do for my outdoor cats, and I'd like to think that I'm not very unique.
However, there are people who can't really take care of the cats that live on their property. Maybe they have cats that were dumped, and who can't be captured and brought to the vet, because these cats aren't tame. Maybe they don't know who these cats even belong to, and they only feed these cats sporadically.
Sadly, it's likely that a lot of these cats are going to become kitty parents this spring. Feral cats breed like crazy (which I've written about before), and they're responsible for the huge crush of kittens animal shelters deal with each and every spring.
The animal shelter in Salem is taking a new approach to this problem. The "Fix a Feral" program allows anyone living in Marion and Polk counties to bring a feral cat in a trap to the shelter, and that cat will be neutered and tagged at no cost. When the surgery is complete, the cat will go right back into that trap, so it can be returned to the community.
I'm really impressed with this program. I think many people want to do something about the wild cats that live in their communities, but they don't know what to do about the issue, and they don't want to spend a lot of money on a solution. This program allows anyone with a little time and gumption to do something that could result in a reduction of hundreds of feral cats, and it doesn't cost anything. The society will even supply the traps!
You can read more about the program here. Share that link, won't you?
And be prepared for many more articles about the Willamette Humane Society on this blog in upcoming weeks. I'm going to start volunteering in the cat rooms very soon, and I'm sure I'll have great stories to share.