Niagara County SPCA changes policy on feral cats

Niagara County

The feral cat pictured above was humanely trapped and brought to the SPCA for emergency care after it was found with a Tupperware lid wrapped around its neck in 2017. The lid was removed, and the cat received medical care and was returned outside. (SPCA photo)

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Niagara County SPCA is changing its policy on feral cats.

Effective July 1, the SPCA will no longer impound healthy, feral cats that are brought to the shelter. It will also no longer trap healthy, feral cats for impoundment.

The SPCA says these kinds of cats are not socialized to people, so they can’t be adopted.

Instead, the organization is promoting a trap-neuter-return policy. Through this, the cats are humanely trapped, vaccinated and either spayed or neutered by a veterinarian.

For $60, veterinary services at the SPCA can be performed for community cats, by appointment. The cats will also be ear-tipped for identification and returned outside.

“When other shelters stopped accepting feral cats, they saw immediate benefits – intake numbers decreased, save rates increased and community support increased,” Executive Director Tim Brennan says. “This approach will free up critical staff time and save us money, allowing us to focus more on increasing adoption rates, improving shelter conditions and developing Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) partnerships with cat rescue organizations in the community.”

Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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