It hasn't been much of a secret, but in the year and a half plus that we've lived here, we've had a feral cat problem. It didn't really bother us until they started having kittens in our backyard and they were dying. Several liters in not as many months later, we're up to dozens of wild, feral, disease ridden cats congregating in our yard.
In an attempt to having the situation solved it has become a finger pointing problem. We know that the neighbor about 3 houses down is largely responsible for how they are able to be strong enough to have several liters and live for so long. You see, she is allergic to cats, but they have 5. So, she decided to have her 5 cats be outside cats and keep their food on their front porch. Sounds great, right? Except she gets irritated that wild cats are eating her cats food. Um, I guess they can't read the sign that says 'Private food only' and just decide to go for it.
We want them gone. Which gives us few options. If we take them to the SPCA we have to pay to have them spay/neutered, ears tipped and then release them back where we got them from. They are still feral cats, they just can't reproduce and I guess eventually they become a traffic hazard or we clean up dead cats out of our yard. The price for this varies between $15 and $45 depending on which county we go to. There is a limit of 2 per household per month. When you have at minimum a dozen cats to do this too, that leaves a lot of time for them to continue to procreate and we would be looking at a minimum of $180 - $540! Not to sound selfish, but do you know how many baby beanies I could buy off of etsy for that???
If you just drop them off after hours, you can be fined. If you take them to the pound, they will be euthanized. While I despise them and sincerely find them to be a huge health threat, I don't want to kill them.
Behind Dusty's work is a large field. At the field there are already several feral cats (other warehouses leave food out) lots of mice and lots of jack rabbits. We decided that we would catch and relocate them to this field so that they can be free and live with other cats, eat mice and live life however. Sounds great, right?
Last night we picked up our first trap. Within hours, we captured one. This morning Dusty and I took it to work to release it. The poor cat was so scared :( Dusty freed it and it took off. But, it didn't know where to go. I went inside and Dusty saw it eventually at one of the buildings. He tried to help it so that it would go to the field where he had just spotted a cat with several kittens. Instead the cat got scared and jumped hard into the glass. It's nose began bleeding :( That broke my heart. Now, I'm desperate to cash another one quickly so it isn't alone :(
I feel sad for the cats, I truly do. They didn't ask to be feral. They didn't ask to be born. I blame those who are too irresponsible to spay and neuter their pets and who think they are doing the world a favor by leaving food outside for wild animals and pets. But, I value our families health above it all.