Maricopa Country has a feral cat problem. 200,000 cats wander the streets looking for food and shelter every day. But a new program could help things out.
A box filled with week-old kittens. Their mother, a feral cat. Julie Burns brought the little kits to an animal shelter.
"We have five acres out in the desert and our workers found them out there," says Burns.
There isn't much that shelters can do for feral cats. They don't make good pets. But there is a program out there, called Trap, Neuter, Return.
"That means free roaming cats are trapped in a humane box trap, sterilized and then returned to the neighborhood where they came from," says Stephanie Nickols Young of the Animal Defense League of Arizona.
It was a big help for Alan Robinson, who had a feral cat problem in his Sunnyslope neighborhood.
"Four of them babies and 11 have been feral so we had a total of 15 spayed and neutered," says Robinson.
Robinson didn't want to put them down, but he didn't want them to breed either. Workers from the spay-and-neuter-hotline showed him how to trap the cats.
The organization will not come out to your home and catch the cat, but it will give you a trap so you can catch the cat and bring it in.
They will neuter or spay the cat and bring them back to the neighborhood
"A lot of the behaviors that are really objectionable, the yelling the yowling the spraying, that stops and the neighbors can get along much easier," says Nickols.
It's a program that is working. So far the program has taken in 15,000 feral cats, spayed or neutered them, and returned them to their neighborhoods.
Spay Neuter Pilot Program
Animal Defense League of Arizona & Arizona Humane Society
For all outdoor cats in zip codes 85021, 85051, 85029, 85015, 85302, 85020
(602) 265-SPAY (7729)