The feral cat population of Nebraska City will be humanely reduced through a trap/neuter/release program that will require a partnership between community volunteers and local veterinarians.
The Nebraska City City Council began
discussions on the program during its regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 4
Nebraska City resident Elaine Boyer and Lincoln resident Melissa Money-Beecher, who is president of Joining Forces, Saving Lives, which provides trap/neuter release services in Lincoln.
Money-Beecher said a TNR program that releases cats back into familiar territory after they have been neutered and vaccinated helps control the feral cat population better than a trap and euthanize approach to the problem because new cats are less likely to move into a neighborhood if the resident feral cat population remains stable.
Money-Beecher estimated that she has been responsible for trapping and releasing about 800 cats herself in the past two years.
Boyer said she has begun discussions with area veterinarians to get their assistance in providing lower-cost spay/neuter procedures, vaccinations and microchips for the feral cats.
Cats that have been part of a TNR program have the tip of one ear clipped, said Money-Beecher, so volunteers know not to trap them again.
Money-Beecher suggested that volunteers identify the area of Nebraska City with the highest feral cat population and start there, ideally trapping females first before next spring’s kitten season.
She said grant funds may be available to help cover the cost of the TNR program, and she encouraged Nebraska City animal lovers to consider forming a 501c3 nonprofit organization in the future.
Program volunteers will meet with Nebraska City Streets Commissioner Vic Johns to formulate a plan to proceed before the council considers the matter again in the future.