Friends of Ferals seeks support

Published 8:23 pm Friday, March 20, 2015

A new partnership between the Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society and Southern Paws Animal Sanctuary, called Friends of Ferals, has been organized in an attempt to help reduce the feral cat colonies in our city.
Humane Society Shelter director Beth Eck said they were approached by Jill Breedlove, president of Southern Paws, to see if the two groups could work together on this project.
What resulted is an agreement to form an independent organization, Friends of Ferals, patterned after trap, treat and release programs that are growing across the United States.
Breedlove said she is motivated by the large colonies of cats, especially those located at the boat basin, Walmart parking lot and behind the Quality Inn. Both organizations are seeing a big influx of pregnant cats, and they are running out of space.
On average, one female cat, her male partner, and their offspring can produce 370,092 cats over seven years.
The plan is to trap the cats, most of which are unable to be socialized, have them spayed or neutered, given rabies shots, then released back to their environment if it is a safe one. The cats ears will be tipped so that they can be easily identified as having been treated.
For those cats that have been in unsafe locations, such as the Walmart parking lot, they will be relocated to safer places where they are allowed.
Because the nature of the feral cat is not sociable to humans, Eck said a shelter is not the place for them. “But they don’t have to die just because they don’t have a home,” she explained. That is why they are pursuing the treat and release program. This should also reduce the sickly feline population.
The local veterinarians are on board with the plan, but it isn’t free. That is where the community comes in. Donations to Friends of Ferals are sought from individuals and businesses to pay for the procedure, estimated to be $60 per cat. Those donations can be made to Port City Animal Hospital, Bryan- Hight Veterinary Hospital and/or Colquitt Animal Hospital, where accounts have been set up. Checks should be made out directly to the veterinary office with a memo, “Friends of Ferals.”
Checks can also be dropped off at the local Humane Society, although the money will not go into the Humane Society or Southern Paws accounts.
For more information contact Beth at the Shelter, 246-0101 or Jill at 416-9604.

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