MANSFIELD — Feral cats may soon be less of a problem for residents of the borough, with help from borough council.
Council voted at its July 10 meeting to start funding a trap-neuter-return program for borough residents who have problems with feral cats on their property, causing issues with their pets, and leaving waste behind.
According to borough manager Lynette Burton, council agreed to initially allocate $5,000 for a TNR program to pay for veterinary services. Councilmen Steve McCloskey and Lori Barnett opposed the action item.
“Second Chance will work with a group of volunteers for a TNR initiative, up to $5,000 annually. This will just be for cats in the borough limits,” Burton added.
Laura Clarson, facility manager at Second Chance Animal Sanctuaries in Middlebury Center, said the organization will assist the borough with facilitating the program and organize volunteers to assist with logistics.
“Different vets charge different fees. they will check to see where they can get the best deal,” Burton said.
According to Clarson, “Mansfield has a serious stray and free-roaming cat problem that has had no end in sight until now. Second Chance Animal Sanctuaries of Tioga and the Mansfield borough council have joined forces to create a spay/neuter program for free-roaming cats in Mansfield through TNR.
“Trap-neuter-return” is the process of catching, spaying/neutering and vaccinating, and returning free-roaming cats to where they were caught. Their ears are “tipped” so they can be identified as altered and vaccinated from a distance. Studies show that is the only humane and effective way to reduce and eventually eliminate stray cat populations.
“This group is to help gather people to share information, ideas and support. The most important part is the community coming together to make this a reality. It is 100% possible. Any and all fundraising ideas, volunteers, and support are welcome. Please spread the word and invite your friends so we can finally end this epidemic,” Clarson said
There will be donation jars and boxes for items like canned cat food, small plates, have a heart traps set up around the borough, Burton said.
Council woman Adrienne McEvoy said several people have already signed up on the Facebook page, Burton added.