Dozens of feral cats were trapped in King William and King and Queen counties to be neutered during an intensive five-day operation last month.
The cats were trapped from April 1 to 5 – 48 in King William and 22 in King and Queen County, according to a report given to King William’s Board of Supervisors at its April 25 meeting. Of the 70 cats, 66 were taken to Angels of Assisi in Roanoke while four received went to Smoky’s spaying/neutering clinic in Richmond.
Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, which helps animals in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC, paid for all but four spraying and neutering operations and transported the cats to Roanoke. Indian Rivers Humane Society funded the other four.
Alice Burton of Homeward Trails said the trap and spay operation, which involved staff and 11 volunteers, was the first the organization has staged in the community.
“We were absolutely overwhelmed with the response,” Burton said.
The event took place at King William’s Regional Animal Shelter.
“There were 32 females that were neutered and 20 of them were pregnant. That’s a lot of kittens that were shunned,” Burton said.
The teams targeted 13 wild colonies and 82 cats. “We were able to get 85%, which is a pretty huge pass rate,” she said.
The cats were neutered and neutered, microchipped and vaccinated against rabies and distemper. Burton said the program was so popular that some volunteers had to be turned away. However, a second round in August is scheduled for King William County from August 26-31.
“We are going to target 100 cats. I don’t think we’ll have a problem with that,” Burton said.
Burton said Homeward Trails also promotes a foster program for cats in the community.
Lauri Betts, manager of the regional animal shelter, stressed the need for a community cat coordination event in the future.
“If we can do 10 cats a week, that’s 520 cats. Imagine if we could do 20 cats a week. Homeward Trails is not going to keep coming here twice a year,” Betts said. “The community is ready to try and end the cat overpopulation problem.”
David Macaulay, [email protected]