Local animal clinic uses Trap, Neuter, Return program to combat cat overpopulation

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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Mountain View Humane deals with feral cats throughout the year. The clinic opened up about 10 years ago and collaborated with Montgomery County in order to control the feral cat overpopulation.

Growing cat populations can impact the local fauna and flora, but there are also challenges with taking care of these cats. Even those who feed outdoor cats could face some issues.

“You have are a lot of people with big hearts who start with a few feral cats, a few stray cats. Then it’s building and they can no longer care of them.”

Sylvie Peterson, Executive Director of Mountain View Humane

To control the stray cat population, the Mountain View Humane has a Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) program, which is an alternative to taking homeless cats to local shelters where many are euthanized because they are unsocial or the shelter lacks space. The program teaches the public to trap stray cats in their neighborhood in order to bring them to the clinic to be spayed or neutered, ear-tipped and returned to their outdoor home.

“It’s not necessarily that feral cats are a nuisance — just like every other wild creature out there — but what can be a nuisance is when they’re not under control and they keep breeding and breeding. And there’s less room and they have health risks and things like that,” Peterson said.

For those who are interested in neutering stray cats in their area, Peterson says the first step is finding a humane society that offers TNR services. Mountain View Humane offers free feral cat trap rentals and teaches people the best way to trap and return feral cats properly. The clinic also offers walk-ins and feral cat surgery days.

“They are all trapped humanely. They are all spayed or neutered, rabies vaccination, an eartip, and then after the appropriate recovery time, they’re reintroduced back to their colony,” she said.

Mountain View Humane is currently working with a grant that is allowing the clinic to perform free feral cat surgeries on Wednesdays. Peterson estimates the grant will run out in a few weeks.

The typical cost for spay/neuter, a rabies vaccination, and for the eartip is $38.

“We keep it very very low so that those individuals try to help,” Peterson said.

To inquire about feral cat trap rentals and to learn more about the TNR program, contact Mountain View Humane at (540) 382-0222.

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