Neighborhoods helping to control feral cat population - 8 News NOW

Neighborhoods helping to control feral cat population

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LAS VEGAS -- Communities across the Las Vegas valley have come up with unique ways to curb the feral cat population.

In 2010, in the middle of the recession, more than 21,000 cats ended up at the Lied Animal Shelter. Each year since then, fewer and fewer have come in and the most drastic drop was seen last year when nearly 15,000 cats ended up at the shelter.

The success is due in large part to spay and neutering programs. One neighborhood has been leading the way in bringing the population down.

Glen Heather Estates near Rancho Drive and Oakey Boulevard, like many neighborhoods, is home to a cat colony.

At Glen Heather Estates, volunteers feed the stray felines, trap them, and get them spayed or neutered. Neighbors say the cats probably don't enjoy the process, but it is for their own good.

Gladys Engstrom has been feeding cats for years. She has even named the regulars.

“There is Mr. Gray and he is a beautiful, beautiful all-gray cat, then there is Fluffy, you know what that looks like,” Engstrom said.

Engstrom and some of her neighbors joined the Community Cat Coalition of Clark County about two years ago. Volunteers feed and trap stray cats so they can be fixed.

Over two years the neighborhood has kept 80 cats from making litters, potentially keeping hundreds of kittens from going into the Lied Animal Shelter.

“A lot less litters, a lot less kittens, last year we had two litters that we know of and this year we've only seen one kitten,” neighborhood association president Shelly Walters said.

The feral or wild animals don't make good pets and most end up euthanized when they are turned into the shelter.

Volunteers like Engstrom have helped get 9,000 cats spayed and neutered last year.

This year, the number of cats turned into The Animal Foundation is down more than 15 percent.

Engstrom's says her regulars are an important part of the community.

“We have in this area roof rats. We don't when we have the cats,” Engstrom said.

She loves them, but wants to keep their population controlled.

“Then there is Booth, you know what that looks like, and there is one I call Sassy,” Engstrom said

After all there are only so many names she can come up with.

The Community Cat Coalition of Clark County says they are always looking for more volunteers like Engstrom. The Animal Foundation is also running a $5 sale on all cats over 1 year old.

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