New program aims to keep feral cats healthy

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) - Feral cats in Greenville are getting help from city council members. The council unanimously approved a program to help keep the cats safe and healthy.

"It's better for the cats, it's better for the community and it costs less," said Marion Blackburn.

A new program approved by Greenville City Council will help decrease the number of cats in neighborhoods and streets. A program called TNR, which stands for trap, neuter, and release will soon be in place in Greenville.

The goal is for non-profit organizations to catch the cats, give them the vaccinations they need, like a rabies shot. After they are cleared, they'll be returned to their household or neighborhood. Greenville City Council Woman Marion Blackburn says the program saves tax payers dollars and prevents overcrowding.

"They're breeding, they aren't going to stop breeding, unless we do something, they say well pick them up and kill them, well you can do that but it can cost up to 200-300 dollars per cat, and more cats are coming in with a never ending cycle."

Animal Protective Services, Tim Langley says they have spent about 8 months researching the program and has found pro's and con's.

"Feral cats are left to roam, city streets and that kinds of sorts, so in doing the research, you find that it's important to at least to spay and neuter them."

Blackburn says the city is in the beginning stages of launching the program.

"This could start as soon as we have an ordnance which ideally can as early as a month from now."

Blackburn says they'll have to follow up with the animals every year to make sure they're still safe.

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