ONLY ONLINE: Williamsburg receives grant to reduce feral cat population
Williamsburg officials are hoping to decrease the stray and feral cat populations thanks to a recent grant.
Williamsburg Main Street Manager Nannie Hayes told the city council last week that thanks in part to the efforts of Refuge Ridge operator Marty Wilson and Whitley County Animal Control Officer Wayne Perkins the city had received a $21,800 grant from PetSmart Charities' free roaming cat spay/neuter program.
"We have a major problem with feral cats," noted Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison.
The free-roaming cat grant offered by PetSmart Charities is intended to provide funding and mentoring for high impact Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) projects. The goal is to stabilize and ultimately reduce the free-roaming cat population within a specific geographic area. Target areas may include all or part of a county, city, township, ZIP code, census tract, neighborhood, mobile home park or other location, according to the company's website.
Hayes said that the goal is to spay or neuter 375 cats out of the estimated 1,500 feral cats in Williamsburg.
"That is just a drop in the bucket but it is a start," Hayes said. "They told us if we did it, then we would be eligible for more in the next grant cycle."
Local veterinarian Dr. Michael Culver will spay and neuter the animals in addition to giving them their rabies shots.
Hayes said that PetSmart officials recommended clipping one-fourth of each cat's ear to signify that it had already been fixed but Culver worried this could lead to bleeding problems.
Instead, he plans to notch an ear on each cat to signify that each has already been trapped.
Hayes said that after the animals have been fixed, they would be released back to their original colonies.
All fields but Phone Number are required to submit a comment, but contact information is for internal communication only.