Vets Volunteer to Spay 160 Ut. Feral Cats
UTAH – Operation City Spay is the name of a program run by a collaborative of animal activists and volunteer vets aimed at reducing the feral cat population of southern Utah. The ongoing program thus far has spayed and neutered over 160 feral felines, but without the help of the volunteer vets, none of it would be possible.
And at a national average of $125 to perform the procedures – per animal – that's quite a sacrifice by Drs. Andrew Bice, Bradley Espin, Gerald Ball and Max Brinkerhoff. Between the four vets, they donated a total of about $20,000 in services, based on that national average.
The program is headed by the Best Friends Animal Society's Community Programs and Services division. It's managed by Shelly Kotter, who said the impact of the vets' help will have lasting effects on the state. She estimates that hundreds, if not thousands fewer stray cats will be roaming through Utah next spring.
The move was aimed only at feral cats, meaning those living outside – not just strays that had been picked up by area shelters. The distinction is important because research shows that this type of Trap-Neuter-Return program is the most cost effective way to handle this type of situation.
In addition to being spayed and neutered, each colony has been assigned a caregiver. The felines are also vaccinated – and are regularly updated with shots.
This solution takes a progressive leap forward for feral cats. Once believed to be a nuisance, misnomers about feral cats are quickly changing for the better.
A similar move is in the works for Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where a local university class plans to aid the Wisconsin Humane Society in changing public perception about feral felines.
To learn more about the BFAS program, go to network.bestfriends.org/feralcatprogram/news.
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