Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nonprofit group to trap, spay/neuter and release feral cats

A nonprofit organization called The Merrick Fund is planning to trap 35 feral cats in an unidentified neighborhood in Elizabethtown after a resident contacted the group recently. Amy Wimmersberger, a representative from the group, briefed Borough Council on the efforts at council's meeting last week.

She said her organization traps feral cats systematically in one area of a town over one week, has them spayed or neutered and then releases them back into the area from which they were trapped. This approach is different from other trap/neuter/release programs, she said, because the organization is the one doing the trapping and not lending traps to residents.

At no cost to the borough, volunteers will spend a week trapping cats in one area and transport them to a veterinarian to be spayed/neutered. The cats will be kept for about three days so they can recover and then will be released to the same area from which they were trapped. If there are other colonies of feral cats, the organization will move on to another area and carry out the same procedure.

Wimmersberger said she and volunteers have been working on a similar program in Steelton this year and have trapped, treated and released 190 cats. She called the program a real success.

Borough Council members all  have had constituents contact them about feral cats at one time or another. In fact, when I posted something about the matter on Facebook, a West High Street resident posted a photo he took of kittens from feral cats, and a somewhat heated discussion ensued. Here's a link -- I'm not sure what the privacy settings are, so you might not be able to see it.

Given the success of the program in Steelton, and that there is no cost to Elizabethtown, this seems like a great approach to a problem that touches many borough residents.


  1. There is also a story about this in the latest issue of The Elizabethtown Advocate. Remember, you can't spell "Advocate" without "cat."

  2. I *think* my privacy preferences allow people to see the picture and discussion. The timing was impeccable seeing these kittens a day after the borough council meeting.

    In light of the Humane League increasing its fees to municipalities, actions like these have the ability save to the borough money year or year.

  3. Note: The Elizabethtown Advocate reported that the group Steelton Borough Community Cats will bring its efforts to Elizabethtown. This is the name that Ms. Wimmersberger announced at Borough Council's meeting. However, I got her name and The Merrick Fund's name from a business card that Borough Council President Phil Clark had.


Because of ongoing spam passed off as comments, I have instituted a policy of moderating all comments. I will receive an e-mail when you comment and will review to ensure they are appropriate. For the record, this is not an effort to censor anyone except spammers hawking offensive websites and inappropriate and unrelated content. I pledge to post all comments, regardless of whether they are critical of me and my writing or not.