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C5 and TNR – Humane and Effective Management of Feral Cat Colonies

Written by Lindsay Yates, HCWS Youth Group 

Keith Williams, director and sponsor of Community Cat Coalition of Clark County (or C5), took some time out last month during Heaven Can Wait Animal Society’s Feral Cat Clinic to explain what trap-neuter-return is all about, and exactly what C5 does.  

In October 2008, Clark County passed a law that made it legal to trap-neuter-return feral cats.  Trap-neuter-return is trapping feral cats, spaying or neutering them and returning them to their community.  Once cats are spayed or neutered, the tip of the ear is clipped so they know it’s already been sterilized.  Trap-neuter-return is vital to the pet overpopulation crisis.  Feral cats are causing a lot of that problem because they are reproducing over and over again, and since they’re feral, no one can monitor to see how many kittens they are having.  As these cats cannot be trained and raised for adoption, once they’re sterilized, they’re returned to where they were found.  The trap-neuter return program only works if concerned citizens in neighborhoods with a high number of ferals set up a feeding schedule to ensure the cats are taken care of.  These citizens can then register their feral cat colony with C5 so the cats can be sterilized and monitored free of charge.

C5 is a huge part of the trap-neuter-return program in Clark County.  This is a 100% volunteer organization and is 100% donation driven.  They’ve had fundraisers at Pet-a-Palooza, the Mother’s Day Art Fest, and they ask for donations from people who maintain feral cat colonies that have had their colony sterilized free of charge.   C5 does trap-neuter-return only.  Many of the cats that are trapped are spayed and neutered at the Heaven Can Wait Animal Society’s monthly Feral Cat Clinic. 

Right now in Las Vegas alone, there are between 250,000 and 500,000 feral cats.  There was a growth of 40,000 this year, not counting the spayed, neutered or euthanized.  From June 2009 to date, C5 has sterilized about 995 feral cats!  That’s amazing!  Although they’ve done a lot, their goal is to reach 1,000 spays/neuters a week. 

If you have any questions, or maybe you take care of a community of feral cats in your neighborhood, you can reach Keith Williams at http://www.clarkcountyferalcats.org/.

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