JAMESTOWN – This week, local lawmakers in Jamestown approved a new program to address the rising stray cat population. The Chautauqua County Humane Society is now detailing how the effort will work.
The goal of the program, as executive director of the Humane Society Kellie Roberts, tells us is to Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, and Return stray cats with very few exceptions.
“Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, and Return,” Roberts explained. “And that’s a very important point about this program is that a vast majority of the cats that come in and we spray and neuter, they have to go back where they came from. They’re community cats, they live in the community, so we’re altering them so they don’t reproduce and help control the population.”
Roberts wants to get the community cats group by group to be treated and returned to de-escalate their ever growing population within the city.
“The cats are being sent to Operation PETS up in Blasdell for the surgery,” stated Roberts. “That’s what’s allowing us to do this, is we do not have enough veterinary staff here to take those on. At this point they’re able to do 20 surgeries a month for us, we’re hoping that goes up to 30.”
Due to the low number of volunteers and workers, the Humane Society has to invest in traps and the help of community members to help trap the strays in their area.
“What we will try to do is work with individuals, we call them colony caregivers,” explained Roberts. “They’re folks who are feeding and watching out for cats in their colonies, what we’re going to try to do is work with those folks first.”
This program, while just being approved and funded by the Jamestown city council, has been gearing up for the ordinance in the background for close to a year.
“They approved five thousand dollars, we also just are in the process of receiving an eight thousand dollar grant for the program from CRCF, so we’re thrilled about that, and we’ve had a little bit of other funding coming in,” stated Roberts.
The Humane Society is currently in the process of buying traps for the cats, but also plan on doing some fundraisers in hope of gathering community support for this program.