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Stray cats in Atlanta got a little more warmth this winter thanks to a Boy Scout named Tyrell Cooper and his Troop 3310 troop.
High school graduate Cooper and his fellow Boy Scouts created and supplied isolated cat shelters for the LifeLine Animal Project to protect feral cats and kittens from a range of health problems, including hypothermia, from exposure to the elements. Outdoor cats have a much shorter lifespan (around 2 to 5 years) than indoor cats, which typically live between 10 and 15 years.
Cooper’s DIY shelters, which he refers to as “cat shelters,” provide a safe place to rest for outdoor cats in the Atlanta area. LifeLine shared photos of the colorful creations on their Facebook page and thanked Cooper and his crew. LifeLine also announced that they would be giving the shelters to customers with colonies of outdoor cats that have been captured, neutered and released (TNR). This process helps reduce stray cat populations while caring for existing animals outdoors.
According to local news sources, Cooper is an honorary student at Westlake High School and plans to enter college and majoring in ecology after graduation. His cat-friendly project will help him become an Eagle Scout.
If you ever find a stray cat or kitten, LifeLine recommends keeping them around. You might be a community cat that doesn’t like the animal shelter environment in general. However, you can help them by taking them to a veterinarian for the TNR process. If you find a feral cat that is missing an earplug, it means it has already gone through this process.
The most important thing to do when you encounter stray kittens is to check that they appear healthy, warm, and that their surroundings are safe and free of traffic. If you are sure the answer to both questions is yes, the kittens will likely be cared for by their mother. However, if the kittens are cold, dirty, or in imminent danger, it is best to take them to a shelter or rescue group.
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for additional stories.