Gettysburg will begin “Trap Neuter and Return” program to stabilize borough’s feral cat population

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After hearing citizens and city officials from Bendersville, Carroll Valley and Gettysburg describe the effectiveness of the program, the Gettysburg Town Council will proceed with a trap castration and return / release (TNR) program to help stabilize its wildcat population.

The speakers, who all had experience with the program, said the program is simple, humane and effective in creating a stable feline community. The benefits of limiting the number of feral cats include a non-growing population, lower human hazard, less cat fights, and better cat health.

The programs use various techniques to find out where the cats are. Volunteers then capture the cats, who are then kept and cared for in a common area for a day or two until they see a veterinarian.

The vet will castrate, deworm and vaccinate the animals against rabies and distemper before they are released back into their community.

Each cat’s left ear will be cut off during the procedure to show that it has been neutered.

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Speakers said there are a variety of organizations out there that can help with the catch and that the cost per cat can be as low as $ 15 per pet.

Gettysburg will provide entry fees to get the program going, as well as a staging area. The cost of the program is expected to decrease over time as the program reduces cat populations.

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Charles Stangor is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Gettysburg Connection.

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