KV-POP aims to reduce cat population

A trap-neuter-return program for feral cats will be implemented in Kirksville after receiving approval during last month’s City Council meeting.

The goal is to reduce the strain on the city caused by the large stray cat population, while providing a humane alternative to euthanasia. The proposal, passed Aug. 17, involves a change in a city animal control ordinance that previously did not allow for a TNR program in Kirksville. The nonprofit program Kirksville-Protect Our Pets worked alongside Field of Dreams Rescue to propose the ordinance change. The two organizations will continue to collaborate about its implementation. The program will focus on problem areas in Kirksville, including spots near campus with high stray cat populations.

Feral cats have been a large concern in the Kirksville community for many years, and the problem is only growing, according to KV-POP’s proposal.

Eighty to ninety percent of cats brought by KPD to the Humane Society during 2014 were feral and most likely euthanized, according to the proposal.

After capture, feral cats will be neutered and then returned by KV-POP volunteers to their place of discovery, according to the proposal.

KV-POP co-founder and president Bridget Thomas said the hopes the program will begin this winter.

Cats can reproduce at four months old and can have three litters a year, Thomas said, and when not spayed or neutered, habits such as fighting and yowling are common and cause frequent complaints to Animal Control.

Like many others, Thomas said she does not see euthanasia as the most economically viable or humane way to control cat populations. She said left unchecked, feral cats can negatively impact public health and neighborhood peace, particularly those that have not been spayed or neutered. The TNR program is becoming increasingly popular across the country as a method of animal control, Thomas said. She said TNR is more humane than euthanasia, and will be able to stop growth and maintain a stable cat population.

To read more about the trap-neuter-return program, read the rest on Issuu.

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