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Trap, Neuter, Return: PAAC working to control feral cat population

Posted at 6:36 PM, Jan 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-16 22:20:15-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The next time you see a cat on the street with one ear-tip snipped -- it signifies they have been neutered and vaccinated.

It's called TNR: trap, neuter and return. This is a way to try and control the feral cat population in town -- a problem Corpus Christi is trying to get under control.

"Cats that are outdoors is one of our biggest problems in the city of Corpus Christi," PAAC President Cheryl Martinez said.

People Assisting Animal Control -- known as PAAC -- has been using TNR for the last year to control cat colonies across the city.

"We are overwhelmed with cats all over the city, and not just one area," Martinez said.

She said the group would need to spay and neuter 46,000 outdoor cats in order to make a difference in our community.

PAAC is the only organization in town that does TNR legally: Trapping, neutering and returning these cats back to the colonies they came from.

"In order to be a legal caretaker in the city of Corpus Christi you must come to this class," she said.

On Sunday PAAC will hold its first TNR seminar of the year.

"By coming to our class we train you, we work with you, and there is a process in order to become a caretaker," Martinez said. "You're then a legal caretaker with us and we will give you some free spays and neuters."

They have over 100 caretakers right now, and trap several hundred cats per month.

Martinez said the "old school" way of handling the cat population was to catch and kill.

"It would literally take having people on staff 24 hours a day, and (euthanizing) all day to make any little impact on the population," she said.

She said the fastest and easiest way to decrease the population is by spaying and neutering.

"When you start to spay and neuter these colonies, the colonies stay intact and other cats won't come in," she said.

In order to become a legal caretaker for TNR you must attend this Sunday's class.

It starts at 3 p.m. at PAAC located at 5804 Ayers.