Council to revisit feral cat plan

Published 12:10 pm Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Austin City Council is set to revisit a proposal to spay, neuter and release feral cats, but the initial support appears to be waning.

The council is set to discuss the Mower County Humane Society’s proposal during its Monday work session, which will follow the 5:30 p.m. regular meeting at Austin City Hall.

On June 20, Kelly Rush and Jay Lutz of the Mower County Humane Society told the council about two trap, neuter, release programs the society has worked with previously.

Email newsletter signup

While initially receptive to the idea, council members voiced concerns during a July 5 work session after receiving feedback from the community and Austin Police Department.

Capt. David McKichan wrote a letter with concern about changes to the ordinance.

“We believe the existing ordinances do work well for the City,” he wrote. “We are not advocating nor supporting a change to the ordinances.”

Under such a program, feral cats would be captured, spayed or neutered and released into the area from which they came, because they know that area best. Those cats will have an tipped ear to signify they are fixed. Over time, the population of feral cats will dwindle. Kittens and tame cats are removed from the colony, fixed and placed into foster homes where they are nurtured until they can be adopted.