Tuesday, February 22, 2011
A Kansas community is experiencing a problem with wild cats.
These feral, or non-domesticated wild cats, if left to their own ways would keep reproducing more feral cats. But that's about to change.
"Feral cats are kind of the forgotten population among our domestic animals," Dr. Melinda Chambers said.
But on this day these feral cats are not forgotten. They are the center of attention at the Central Kansas Veterinary Center in South Hutchinson.
Six Hutchinson-area veterinarians donate their skills to spay or neuter the feral cats with the help of several veterinarian technicians and other volunteers.
"The main thing is just controlling the overpopulation because once they start reproducing, they reproduce exponentially and you end up with a problem that you can no longer control. So we're just trying to be out in front of that," Dr. C.W. Seitz said.
Sixty or more feral cats trapped in Hutchinson-area neighborhoods await their visit to the operating table.
"So now that we have the cat secured and he's not going to be able to jump up, I'm going to take the cocktail injection of antibiotic and I'll put it into his muscle. He might jump, so hold on tight. So once it's in his muscle, it's ingested. And he'll be asleep in three to five minutes," Veterinary Technician Janessa Dickson said.
Dr. Melinda Chambers, owner of the clinic, says people have been trapping feral cats for decades trying to control their population. "And that's an endless and futile effort that ends up costing taxpayers a lot of money. And this really is a solution to the problem that's a lot fairer to the cats, as well," Dr. Melinda Chambers said.
"We get in anywhere from 100 to 200 cats a month. I would say a big majority of those are feral cats, meaning the wild cats you can't handle which are a lot of these," Amber Slankard, Hutchinson Animal Shelter Director.
The bottom line is the more feral are fixed, the fewer will be in the wild, and the fewer will have to be trapped and later put down.