Animal shelter asks for community involvement in addressing area feral cat problem

Published 9:48 am Friday, March 15, 2019

Carter County has a massive feral cat population that is currently out of control, says the county’s animal control and shelter organization that monitors them, the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter (ECCAS).  The United States Humane Society and the ECCAS have both denoted feral cats as not having had early contact with humans and thus cannot be handled because they are too fearful and wild. It is because of this that they cannot be adopted.

The ECCAS has proposed a solution of establishing a feral cat program where the animal is trapped, neutered and returned to the area where there is a controlled feral cat colony. However, according to Shannon Posada, the ECCAS director, this cannot be currently done without county community-wide involvement. The ECCAS is sponsoring a Feral Cat Seminar at the Carter County Courthouse on March 25 at 6 p.m. in order to start individual community feral cat boards. There will be guest speakers that have experience with successful feral cat programs.

“I really want to stress that we need our communities’ involvement for this to be a success,” Posada said. “What we would like to do is to give the people of Carter County the opportunity to come together and let’s all set up cat colonies or communities.”

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Posada also asserts that there have been many successful feral cat solutions in other cities and large communities, and points to Erwin that has established what Carter County is currently lacking — a controlled feral cat program designed under the same trap, neuter and release into a colony program that will be discussed on March 25.

The ECCAS cannot house feral cats, and Posada said that to set up feral colonies with feeding stations requires land. She said there have been several people who have expressed interest in this area.

Posada agrees that there also needs to be tougher laws requiring pet owners to neuter their pets, and cites a number of agencies that would work with pet owners with low income, such as the Carter County Humane Society that offers low-cost vouchers to those that qualify.

If you would like more information and be a part of the feral cat solution, please attend the seminar above. You can also contact the ECCAS directly at 423-547-6359.