Feral Cat Coalition in Fluvanna Reducing Number of Wild Cats
In one year, the nonprofit has helped reduce the number of kittens coming into the SPCA by half.
A new nonprofit is making a notable impact on the population of feral cats in Fluvanna County.
The Feral Cat Coalition has trapped hundreds of cats and gotten them treatment to reduce the numbers of wild cats.
In just one year, one feral cat roaming around in your back yard can become an overwhelming colony.
But in the same amount of time, the coalition has cut Fluvanna County's feral cat population in half.
"One feral cat can easily become 25 or 30 feral cats in a year," said Lizz Palmer Mackenzie, the Feral Cat Coalition president.
A growing feral cat population can become destructive and lead to starving or inbreeding.
Mackenzie witnessed it volunteering at the Fluvanna SPCA when someone brought in a feral cat in labor.
"She'd had a lot of litters and the kittens were born with their heads and their legs on backwards. And we had to euthanize them upon arrival and I'm tearing up now, it was awful," Mackenzie said.
So she asked the SCPA director how she could help Fluvanna's feral cats.
"She said three little letters changed my life. She said TNR," Mackenzie said.
TNR, or trap, neuter, release is the key to how the feral cat coalition is tackling this feline problem in Fluvanna.
"People have barns here, they have livestock, they have outbuildings, and they have all kinds of little places for feral cats to nest and nesting leads to babies and babies leads to more babies," Mackenzie said.
Mackenzie and a team of volunteers catch feral cats, neuter or spay them.
In one year, the nonprofit has helped reduce the number of kittens coming into the SPCA by half - which helps the shelter and the community.
"It's important for the community because then they aren't getting into people's homes, getting into peoples porches, getting hit on the road, and creating problems - especially they're not fighting with other domestic cats," said Jenni Shuklis, the FSPCA director.
Once they're neutered and treated for any health problems, the coalition releases the cats back into the wild, giving them a better chance at a happy, healthy life.
Next month the Feral Cat Coalition is kicking off a series of volunteer training sessions.