INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -
One organization is planning to reduce the number of feral cats in the Independence area, not by euthanasia, but by trapping 2,400 free roaming cats and spaying and neutering them.
The Great Plains Society For The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals made it its mission to promote the program: Trap, Neuter and Release.
"There's a problem with feral and free roaming cats in every community," says Gail Longstaff, vice president of Great Plains SPCA.
Longstaff explained that releasing the cats back into the colony is a better option than euthanizing.
"When you remove a group of cats from a location it creates a vacuum effect where more cats will simply move into," she said.
Pet Smart Charity is paying for the two-year, $100,000 project in Independence. The goal is to fix 2,400 feral cats.
"The reductions we have seen in the number of cats and kittens going into our area shelters has been dramatic," Longstaff said.
41 Action News was invited to see one feral cat colony in Independence that used to have almost 100 cats -- now that number is down to about 25.
When you look around, there is not one kitten. That's a sign of success for the group, which they hope will stabilize other colonies nearby.
Judy Spearman, who is just one of a few volunteers who spend their own money on cat food, helps feed the colony twice a day.
"These cats are all healthy and they are well taken care of," she said, and they're all fixed as part of the pilot program.
Great Plain SPCA is looking for other people who know of feral cats in the Independence area who could be part of the 2,400 that will be fixed and released. The public is invited to a meeting on Monday, August 27 at the Stone Church on Lexington Avenue in Independence, starting at 6:30 p.m.
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