MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Montgomery Humane Society is gaining ground in its efforts to get control of the feral cat population. It launched a new program this summer called Trap, Neuter, Release.
“Cats are very effective breeders, so the problem has just blown up,” said Montgomery Humane Society Executive Director Steven Tears, who can't even put a number on how many feral cats are living in Montgomery. “Thousands... thousands.. and right now they're breeding at will.”
Let’s put it this way: One un-spayed female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 cats in only seven years. The Montgomery Humane Society says it has seen a significant increase in Feral Cats over the last several years.
“It was isolated to, say, Dalraida or Forest Hills. Now you're seeing them all across the city and county,” Tears explained, and said the shelter just can’t house feral cats.
“A feral cat that comes to us is a wild animal,” Tears described. “A feral cat in a cage will just tear himself up, he just can’t handle that environment. it’s too stressful...keeping them caged is incredibly inhumane, so our only option with a feral cat, unfortunately is humane euthanasia.”
So MHS implemented this Trap, Neuter, Release program this summer, even renting out the traps.
“As these cats come in, we’re offering to spay/neuter, update them on shots, give them rabies, which most feral cats do not have and re-release them,” Tears said. “We tip their ear, so when you visually look at them you’re able to tell that they’ve been altered.”
The program has already spayed or neutered more than 200 feral cats, but Tears says that’s not even scratching the surface of the issue. “One or two people, there’s no way. even 10 or 20 people, there’s no way. It’s going to take a community to fix a community problem.”
The program has no cost to you if you trap and bring in a feral cat. The only requirement is that you live in the City of Montgomery or Montgomery County, and that you provide some sort of after-care to the feral cat colony.