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Climbing numbers of feral felines pose mounting problem statewide

Sun Advocate reporter

The need to stop the over population of cats and dogs is a serious issue.

The proliferation of feral or free roaming strays contributes significantly to Carbon County's mounting cat over population problem.

The FeralFix addresses this by providing low and no cost surgeries for feral cats.

Utah's no more homeless pets program provides humane trapping workshops and educates the public about why trapping neutering and returning is the most effective way to reduce cat homelessness in our neighborhoods.

According to program representative Amanda Bell, there are currently an estimated one million feral cats in Utah. And as the state's population continues to grow, so does the number of stray and feral cats entering local animal shelters.

As a result of the uncontrolled situation, 25,000 cats are euthanized in Utah shelters every year.

There are simple ways Carbon County residents can help prevent a population explosion, pointed out Bell.

First, prevention is the key. Spaying or neutering pets is the most humane and least expensive way residents can help control Utah's animal overpopulation.

Second, through trap, neuter and return efforts, the state program has been sterilizing feral felines for five years and making a major impact in the quality of the cats' lives.

Local residents should remember that, no matter how wild feral cats may seem, felines are still domestic animals, stated Bell. Cats require human help if the animals are to thrive.

Carbon County residents who are feeding strays can safely trap and have the cats spayed or neutered at a reduced rate.

The procedures will prevent hundreds of unwanted kittens from being born.

Many people may not know that TNR is readily available in Utah, with many organizations loaning traps and offering low-cost spay or neuter services, continued Bell.

It's the best way for people to prevent more unwanted kittens from showing up doorsteps year after Year.

TNR is the only long term, effective way to maintain feral colonies, pointed out Bell. Trapping and killing stray cats rarely fixes the problem.

All it takes to restart the problem is one un-sterilized cat moving into a neighborhood..

While many people would rather get rid of the cats, that's not an effective long term option, noted the state program representative.

Feral cats and wild animals will always show up where there's food and shelter. '

That's why TNR is the most humane, effective way to help the animals and control populations.

Sterilized, vaccinated colonies are territorial and not readily willing to let unfamiliar unsterilized cats into the colony, said Bell.

For additional information or assistance in scheduling TNR services, Carbon County residents may contact the program at 801-364-0370, extension 18.

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