Charleston's feral cats may be catching a serious break (updated x3)

Image by Flickr user kalavinka

Updates at the bottom:

The Post and Courier reports that free-roaming cats taken into the Charleston Animal Society may avoid the usual death sentence and return to their lives, sterilized, on easy street.

A proposed ordinance and grant would allow healthy cats to be spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and ear-tipped, then released where they were found.

The current method for dealing with feral cats is euthanasia and incineration. Yowch.

Update November 5:

The sterilization program has continued to move forward, but is beginning to catching some serious flack from bird-oriented animal groups.

Hop over to the updated story over at The Post and Courier.

Update November 6: A reader dropped us a note and asked us to clarify that the program targets feral cats and not strays, as we first wrote. 

The difference is of course that a stray cat can be more easily taken in by an owner, while a feral cat is effectively a wild animal in many regards. 

A director at the Charleston Animal Society stated, "Ferals are wild and cannot be socialized enough to go into a home (unless they are very young). Stray cats are different.  These cats usually have gotten away from an owner or are fed by a neighborhood etc. They aren’t “wild.”  Stray cats follow a different protocol than Ferals --i.e. They are tested for health and behavior issues and if determined to be adoptable then are put in queue to be so."

Update December 9:

Charleston County Council members approved the feral cat program Tuesday evening with a 7-2 vote.

The Post and Courier has the story.


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