ZANESVILLE, Ohio – Members of one area organization are in the process of furthering their mission to control the feral cat population in Muskingum County. PAWS of Muskingum County has implemented a new strategy to spay and neuter area feral cats in order to mitigate the rapidly growing population and accompanying health concerns. Teresa Hildebrand, with PAWS, says members are broadening their horizons.
“In the past, we’ve always been concentrating on low-income housing and such—and people who need help to get their animals spayed and neutered. We’re branching out this year because we’re noticing when we get into these neighborhoods that there’s a great deal of feral cats—and what we call ‘community cats’ or just ‘stray cats’; the ones that everybody feeds…but nobody owns.”
While feeding stray cats is a kindhearted gesture, it can cause the cat population to grow if the animals are physically capable of reproducing. PAWS is now utilizing a strategy called TNR.
“They don’t realize that when they feed the cats—and you don’t spay and neuter them, it’s like throwing gasoline on a fire. They are going to multiply out of control; and then you get into disease issues and overcrowding—and all of this other stuff. We’re looking to expand our program and start a TNR—that is trap, neuter, and release. Basically, the animals stay in their community. We will trap them, take them in, get them neutered, re-release them.”
While PAWS of Muskingum County has already neutered and spayed a plethora of cats through their fundraising efforts, there is still more work to be done and financial and volunteer support is needed. To volunteer to trap or transport cats—or to donate funding or sponsor a Spay Day Event, contact PAWS at 740-221-7278.