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Feral cat over population problem growing in Escambia County

Updated: Monday, July 14 2014, 06:53 PM CDT
The feral cat over population problem is growing in Escambia County. That's why the county is proposing an ordinance that would implement a "Trap-Neuter-Release" program. Officials say there are about 50,000 feral cats in Escambia County.

According to the County Animal Services Manager, last year, more than 4,000 cats were euthanized at a cost of more than 400,000 dollars. But the Animal Services Manager says the rate of killing does not keep up with the rate of reproduction.

At Sliver Lake Mobile Home community, the Animal Services manager says between 20 and 30 cats are brought to the shelter from this neighborhood every week. "We usually see about 10-15 cats" says Clifford Trout who has lived in Sliver Lake for about a year.

You can spot them almost anywhere: under cars, front porches and perched on tires. "They've become a menace to people. They get up under our trailers, climb up on our roofs" says Trout.

The huge feral cat population is why the county is looking to create a new ordinance that would implement a 'Trap-Neuter-Release' program. "For years they've done the trap and euthanize and it's not been effective at all" says John Robinson, the Animal Services Manager for Escambia County.

Robinson says the Shelter and Animal Control will only be  responsible for watching over the 'Trap-Neuter-Release, program, not running it. "Humane society type organizations will actually handle it. So it will reduce the impact here at the Shelter" says Robinson. And that impact can translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars. "Any animal that comes through the Shelter all becomes tax payer dollars" says Robinson.

But some people still aren't sure if this program is really going to solve the feral cat over population problem. "That's sounds like a good idea. Spay and neuter them so they can't breed, but it's probably better to get them and get them gone" says Clifford Trout. The public hearing on this ordinance will be on the 24th at 5:30.

Feral cat over population problem growing in Escambia County


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