Efforts To Control Valley's Stray Cat Population Pay Off

By Steve Shadley
Published: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - 5:45pm
Updated: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - 7:18pm
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(Photo courtesy of Animal Defense League of Arizona)
"This cat has been through the trap-fix-return program where strays are caught and sterilized then returned to their neighborhoods. It has had the tip of one of it's ears snipped off to show it has been fixed.

Local animal care centers are making significant progress to control the Valley’s stray cat population.  New statistics show they have spayed and neutered more outdoor cats in the first half of 2014 than they had by last year at this time.

Officials said there’s a 12 percent increase in the number of stray and pet cats sterilized in Maricopa County in the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period last year. Stephanie Nichols-Young is President of the Animal Defense League of Arizona.  It’s working with a handful of other groups to control the outdoor cat population.

"We need to make sure that we fix all of the cats that are outside," Nichols-Young said. "But, one thing we’ve realized about people feeding outdoor cats is that we have to get them to focus at the colony level to fix all of their cats. And, we are going to be more strategic about the neighborhoods that we go to and getting the word out in the Valley so people are aware of this solution.”

Nichols-Young said trap-fix-and-release efforts to reduce the number of stray cats are proving successful. She said the groups have sterilized more than 60,000 outdoor cats in the Phoenix area since 2009.

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