McKamey Animal Center Offers Free Spay/Neuter Services For Feral Cats

Thursday, January 5, 2017
McKamey Animal Center is taking steps to reduce the population of feral cats through their Trap-Neuter-Return program within the City of Chattanooga. McKamey Animal Center, 4500 North Access Road in Chattanooga, will be offering free spay/neuter services to cat caretakers who trap and care for feral cats in the City limits of Chattanooga.

According to McKamey Animal Center's Executive Director Jamie McAloon, "We would love to see our veterinary clinic full of cats awaiting spay/neuter.
That is the best way to combat overpopulation. In 2016 McKamey took in 2,457 cats just from the city alone.  In addition, McKamey spayed/neutered hundreds more from the Chattanooga area. We have to be proactive to this age old problem and we know spay/neuter works to permanently reduce those numbers.  From May until October, our shelter as well as others are full to capacity with litters of kittens arriving by the minute.  Our hope is to see some relief from those box loads and baskets full of kittens arriving daily in an already full shelter."

Feral cat caretakers can bring feral cats to McKamey Animal Center's veterinary unit Tuesdays through Fridays between 8-9 a.m. and later pick up the cats the same day between 4-5 p.m. All cats must be in a safe-trap and not cat carriers to reduce the risk of bites and scratches.  All cats in this program will be rabies vaccinated and will have their left ear tipped to identify them as a "fixed" feral cat. The program is restricted to feral cats only and is limited to Tuesdays through Fridays. The project is made possible with a grant from the Petco Foundation.   

Officials said, "Feral cats are domestic cats that live entirely outdoors. Unlike stray cats-who were formerly someone's pet but were abandoned by their owners, feral cats are not socialized to people.  Feral cats thrive in all landscapes, from the most rural to the inner city. Studies show them to be as healthy as cats who live indoors. However, due to breeding, they tend to pose nuisance problems. If feral cats are spayed/neutered, those problems abate almost entirely, and the cats go on to live a healthy life in the wild.  

"Trap-Neuter-Return improves cats' lives. With Trap-Neuter-Return, cats are humanely trapped and taken to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and ear tipped (the universal symbol of a neutered and vaccinated cat). Healthy feral cats are then returned to their outdoor home. Trap-Neuter-Return is effective because it stabilizes the population, improves the cats' health, and ends behaviors associated with mating, like yowling, roaming, and fighting. Trap-Neuter-Return is practiced in communities all across the U.S. and endorsed by national animal protection organizations."

For more information, call McKamey Animal Center at 423-305-6502.

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