POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The Pocatello Animal Services is taking a new approach to an age-old problem: stray cats.
“It’s always the same. Every year we get an abundance of cats and we just do the same thing. Well, nothing’s changing so let’s try something else,” said Josh Heinz, Pocatello Animal Services Director.
Recently, Pocatello Animal Services started its Community Cat Program. Animal Services staff will set traps in areas of the city with known community cat (i.e. stray) colonies.
Once the cats are trapped, they’ll be taken to the Pocatello Animal Shelter where the cats are spayed or neutered and given a rabies vaccination. Only healthy cats will be returned, and they will have their ears notched for identification purposes.
“The cat population’s not going to grow and the area that the cats are in is already sustaining them, so they’re already there, so all we’re doing is making sure the population doesn’t get any bigger and then returning them to where they came from and what they know,” Heinz said.
The program is made possible through a $50,000 grant from Best Friends Animal Society. It's similar to the Idaho Falls Animal Shelter trap-neuter-release program.
“I think Idaho Falls is a really great example of a success story. They have been maintaining a live release rate of over 90% of their cats that come in,” said Jennifer Adkins Community Cat Program Outreach Specialist for Best Friends Animal Society.
With the new program’s implementation, members of the public are encouraged to bring stray cats to the Shelter on Mondays and Wednesdays, whenever possible.