Paws-itive Partners started its third Love My Cat campaign April 1 and reported a good response thus far, the organization said Saturday.
During April, veterinary clinics in North Platte and Sutherland are participating in the Love My Cat program in order to reduce spring litters of kittens.
Paws-itive Partners wants to help as many low- and moderate-income pets as possible, so clinics have reduced spay and neuter fees to $25 during the Love My Cat prgram, with Paws-itive Partners paying the balance of the cost.
Paws-itive Partners mission is to help domestic cats, but the project has expanded further to help colony cats in the Love My Cat program, which continues through April.
“In recent months, I’ve become increasing aware and saddened with the problem of cat colonies around North Platte," Paws-itive Partners member Pat Dannatt said. "Most of these homeless cats were domestic and ran away from, or were abandoned by, their human families.”
Dannatt said that to reduce the number of homeless cats and kittens, they must be spayed or neutered.
North Platte and Lincoln County residents can help.
“The first thing that must be done is to humanely trap colony cats and have them spayed or neutered in order to stem the breeding cycles," Dannatt said. "Professionals experienced with colony cats recommend that cats be returned to their colony location after spaying and neutering. Returning the cat to its colony will prevent other cats from establishing colonies in those locations."
That program - Trap-Neuter-Return (TRN), is a huge undertaking, Dannatt said. "It takes getting involved and Paws-itive Partners needs the community’s help to successfully impact the homeless cat population.”
Dannatt said taking feral cats to shelters isn’t a solution and they don’t belong in shelters. True feral and colony cats are un-socialized and considered unadoptable. If the can be humanely trapped and sterilized, a cat can be returned to the area that has become their familiar habitat and can live peaceful lives.
Dannatt said that colony cats qualify for Love My Cat. If you can help a colony cat by intervening, but can’t afford the Love My Cat fees, please call Paws-itive Partners at 650-PAWS to discuss it.
If you can TNR, please call your veterinary clinic in North Platte or Sutherland to make arrangements for the date of TNR.
Veterinary clinics will continue with Love My Cat through April.
To schedule a cat’s surgery, pet owners are asked to contact their veterinary clinic as soon as possible for an appointment. Pet owners with questions can call Jo Mayber at 308-532-8814.