Shelter Has 2 Years to Catch 1,400 Cats [Video]
Center for Animal Health and Welfare wants your help for its feline trap/neuter/return program.
After 15 years in her West Ward neighborhood, Sandy Riley has taken in her share of stray cats.
That's partially because of neighbors who move in, don't stay as long—think 15 weeks instead of 15 years—and abandon their pets when they leave.
"We had a neighbor rescue a gerbil from a garbage can," said Riley, an 11th street resident.
Nearly every neighborhood in Easton has a story to tell like this one, which is why the Center for Animal Health and Welfare has begun a city-wide trap-neuter-return program.
The center has gotten a $97,000 grant from PetSmart which requires them to spay and neuter 1,400 cats in the next two years.
And so far, the center has one board member doing the job.
"That's not going to work," said the center's Wendy Benedict. "We need help."
So the center is looking for people around Easton to set humane traps to catch the cats and bring them to the Williams Township shelter.
"You don't need to be experienced," Benedict said, "but you do need training."
Volunteers need to have the time to set the traps, notify the shelter and then bring the cats in to be spayed/neutered. It's not as if the cats can wait in the traps for days at a time, Benedict said.
And if you just want the cats gone from your neighborhood, this might not be a job for you. Putting the cats back where you found them is the key difference between the trap-neuter-return program and the trap-neuter-release option.
"You want to put the cats back into their colony because there's already been a heirarchy established, they know where the food and water is," Benedict said.
She said cat mating season is coming soon, and the center is trying to avoid a repeat of last year, when it saw 92 strays left on its doorstep. (That's in addition to any other strays brought in through regular channels.)
In 2011, Easton City Council considered a law banning the feeding of strays, but backed off, saying it would be too hard to enforce.
For more information on the program, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-252-7722.