Since a community cat program began in Osceola County, Florida in April 2018, the total surgery count is up to 2,021 cats spayed/neutered. This total is from April to December 2018.
The program was made possible by a grant for $500,000 from the Best Friends Animal Society. Part of the grant money was spent on a van with supplies for two hired people to go out into the community and collect trapped feral cats. The cats are then spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and released where they were trapped.
According to Osceola County Animal Services Director Kim Staton, there were a few times when there were no cats available for adoption. The shelter reported a drop of 16 percent in cats coming into the shelter between 2017 and 2018.
The big test will be now that kitten season is here. The shelter still expects to have a busy summer but believe it will get easier each year with so many cats being ‘fixed.’ The grant will allow the program to run for another two years.
In an interview with Click Orlando Staton stated what those involved with TNR (trap/neuter/release) already know
“Putting these neutered animals back into the population helps stabilize the population and prevents growth of that population. What we used to do with trap and remove and euthanize, it doesn’t work.”
The van is used to transport the cats to and from locations. Procedures are done in sterilized surgical clinics.
Rather than local governments attempting to trap and kill feral cats, this is a much more effective plan. An excellent article can be found here. It’s worth the read and details TNR from start to finish.
Feral cat caregivers in Osceola County are asked to contact the Osceola County Community Cat Program by calling 407-608-2764 or emailing OsceolaCats@bestfriends.org.