Aiken's new plan to deal with stray cats

AIKEN COUNTY, SC (WFXG) - Aiken has a stray cat problem but that may soon be fixed.

"We're trying to reduce the size of the community cat un-owned population colonies," said Barbara Nelson, the president and CEO of the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare.

The Aiken SPCA got the green light from city council to implement a new TNR, or Trapped Neutered and Return, program.

They are targeting cat colonies in the area.

"We will trap 80 to 90 percent of those cats out there as quickly as we can," said Nelson.

This problem isn't exclusive to Aiken County, however.

"It's a problem all over the country, where there haven't been TNR programs yet," Nelson said. "There's a certain carrying capacity to that neighborhood or that area where the colony lives. That carry capacity over time supports a certain amount of cats. If they're fertile it will get to a huge capacity."

Nelson said the previous method of animal control bringing them to the shelters and euthanizing them has not worked.

"If they're all fertile, you take one out of the colony another cat is welcomed into the colony, or fights its way into the colony," Nelson said. "If they're all sterilized, they tend to keep their colony in tact and then over time, the colony, because it's not reproducing, will shrink in size."

Nelson said this program will save Aiken residents a lot of money in taxes. Right now it costs about 80 dollars to euthanize and bury one cat. To sterilize the cat will cost about 60 dollars.

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