Aggie Cat Service helping feral
felines on USU campus
By Megan Sonderegger
February 22, 2006 | Feral cats are freezing, starving
and reproducing quickly at USU, said Whitney Milligan,
a co-founder in the Aggie Cat Service.
She said she's got a solution to this problem -- trapping,
spaying and neutering stray cats.
"The key (to this problem) is to prevent reproducing,"
She said the Aggie Cat Service provides feeding areas
for cats in order to maintain a territory where the
habitual felines continue to feed. She said this allows
for monitors to observe the cats continually and establish
forms of trapping based on their breed.
"We withhold food for a day, and put food in the traps
the following days when they're really hungry and willing
to go for it," Milligan said.
She said after doing this they throw a blanket over
the animal until it calms down and then they take the
feline to Cache Meadows, where the surgeries are performed.
Milligan said the veterinarian allows for female cats
to stay overnight because their surgery is much more
intrusive than surgery for males, and they have allowed
for other possible days if further recovery is needed.
"Its surgery; we worry about them," Milligan said.
She said after the surgeries each cat has its ear
tipped, which means a portion of their ear is clipped
off, to help monitors to sort which cats have already
had the surgery. She said the feeding grounds continue
afterward and cats are able to enjoy a safe environment,
food, water and insolated shelters.
Milligan said many of the cats they trap are tame
and adoptable, and she feels that's because students
and residents get cats and then abandon them. She said
the cat service is creating brochures and Web sites
to educate citizens about spaying and neutering as well
as good ownership.
"Don't get a cat unless you're planning on keeping
it for life," Milligan said.
Milligan said three feeding grounds have already been
established and she urges volunteers to get involved
in this program by working with the cat service in order
to initiate further controlled cat colonies.
"We need to make life safer and happier for these
poor cats," Milligan said.