WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)–Feral cats have become an issue in and around Wilkes-Barre. One program is aimed at getting everyone educated and on the same page.
Feral cats have been a point of contention for residents and the local government lately. An out-of-state organization is looking to step in and help.
Molly Armus wears multiple hats for the group from Bethesda, Maryland.
“In our presentation tonight, we are really going to talk about some real-world examples of communities that we’ve gone into and who are thrilled at the results that they’ve had because nuisance complaints are down, shelter intake is down–killing is down,” said Armus. “Alley Cat Allies is the largest organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, so this is actually what we do all the time. We travel to communities to implement trap, neuter, return. We talk to people about their concerns and we help them implement this humane and effective program. The situation here are very common and we see this situation all across the country so we help them out to support their cats and their community.”
She expressed that trap, neuter, return is the only real solution to this issue as complaints have stockpiled about damages and the growing population of feral cats around Wilkes-Barre–primarily around Bowman and Hillard Streets.
What those who may oppose t-n-r might not know is that the process is aimed at curtailing most of the day-to-day issues.
“A lot of the behaviors that people perceive as nuisances are actually related to mating. The yowling, the spraying, the roaming and seeing kittens–those are stopped because they are sterilized. The breeding cycle ends, their population is stabilized and those behaviors cease,” she said.
Armus noted that people can attend these workshops or go online for resources. Those who are passionate about helping the feral cats are urged to do more than advocate, but to bring practical solutions to their communities.
“An essential part of trap, neuter, return is canvasing you neighborhood–talking to your neighbors, telling them what you’re doing and why you’re doing it because so much of it is a lack of education. Not really understanding cats, not really understanding trap, neuter, return,” she added. “We’re absolutely going to arm people with that information so they can go back to their neighborhood. They can talk to their neighbors and create this dialogue. That allows the cats to remain in their homes where they living and thriving.”
The administration and city council are now working on legislation to help with the issue. Organizations like alley cat allies are hoping that having educated community advocates will help provide a large step in the right direction.