What about the feral cats of Red Deer?

Our community in Red Deer is a very pet friendly.

Our community in Red Deer is a very pet friendly.

Red Deer provides us with a few beautiful dog walking parks. Red Deer has many wonderful Rescue organizations that do a fantastic job, such as: Paws and Claws, Red Deer SPCA, Whiskers Rescue, Red Deer Animal Control, Alley Cats Rescue and many more. Our city has many places for homeless animals to go.

My concern is we have forgotten one huge issue in our city and that is the feral cats of Red Deer.

Most people in our city don’t seem to understand that these feral cats that are such a “pain in the butt” are a product of irresponsible owners who don’t spay or neuter their feline!

The issue is that all these feral cats reproduce hundreds of kittens every year and the problem grows out of control.

We have a trapping season that Animal Control offers to try to lower these numbers but it isn’t successful.

If we euthanize 50 feral cats, those cats may be gone but the rest are still there; reproducing at a faster rate than the 50 cats the city chose to euthanize.

Instead of a budget for trapping, Red Deer city council should look at a feral cat release site. It would solve the feral cat issue.

I am the founder of Alley Cats Rescue. My rescue society traps feral cats, spay or neuters them, vaccinates, de-worms and release them.

We also try and find pet friendly farms or local businesses that are willing to let these cats live in their barns or around the buildings to mouse in return for fresh water and food, free of charge!

At that point if there are kittens or friendly cats, we take them and adopt them out.

If I had a release site to put the feral cats on it would be easier to control and take care of them. I feed over 800 feral cats in Red Deer and it’s a lot of driving.

With a safe release site, the cats then will no longer reproduce, pass disease to other cats, rip into garbages and spray around people’s properties.

I’m not asking for our city to pay for any vet bill associated with the feral cats, food or housing.

I’m only suggesting that instead of another off-leash dog walking park, the City of Red Deer could look at a two-to-three-acre parcel of land to set these animals free.

The population of feral cats will die off on its own.

Everyone would be happy: people who hate feral cats would win as they’d be gone out of sight, cat lovers would win as the animals wouldn’t have to starve and freeze to death, the city would win because they would be doing the right thing and spend the cat budget on a great project that I am willing to look after!

Vanessa Caird

Red Deer

Founder/President

Alley Cats Rescue Society