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Organization continues effort to control stray cat population

Appalachian Feral Cat Allies has been working rigorously to help control the stray cat population across Erwin and Unicoi County by taking a different approach.
Rather than using a typical trap-and-kill method, Judy King, who operates Appalachian Feral Cat Allies, says that she aims to capture the cats, neuter them, and then return them to the wild.
“It’s extremely hard to euthanize the cats faster than they can breed,” said King. “They are very prolific breeders and their numbers grow quickly. If you take away one cat, another will just take its place. I offer a different approach.”
The would-be typical approach to dealing with stray cats would be to capture them and send them off to a shelter or pound. When cats are taken to such a facility, only 30 percent of them face a favorable outcome, according to King.
Euthanizing the cats is not only hard on the individuals forced to do it, but it is also expensive. The national average cost for euthanizing a cat is around $175. Comparatively, the cost for spaying or neutering a cat is around $50.
One of King’s biggest goals with the Appalachian Feral Cat Allies is that she wants to change the approach and attitude for dealing with stray cats.
“I want to engage the community into looking at this in a different way,” said King. “The cats out there are not really wild or tame. We need a real solution for how to deal with them, not just a band-aid.”
King recalled one such instance where a lady called her regarding several cats that had been causing problems around her home.

For the remainder of this article please see the March 19, 2014 edition of The Erwin Record.