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ABC-7 anchor starts neighborhood program to curb feral cat population

By Maria Garcia, MariaG@kvia.com.
Published On: Jul 03 2013 05:34:41 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 29 2013 07:23:05 PM CDT
EL PASO, Texas -

I love neighborhoods.  I've always found it fascinating how neighborhoods affect the way we live: our habits, our activity level, sometimes even what we do for fun.

In my neighborhood, Sunset Heights, there's an amazing sense of place. It's walkable and beautiful. There are three parks just a short walk away from any home and neighbors sometimes sit out on their porch while I walk my dogs and we say hello and chat. There's always friends on bikes or others having spontaneous picnics.

There is one issue: there are hundreds of feral and stray cats in my neighborhood. When I lived on El Paso Street, I got so tired of seeing them run over in the middle of the street.  And it saddens me when I see new kittens in the neighborhood. I know they're in for a tough life.

But the overabundance in cats also affects my neighbors. Recently, another Sunset resident told me a family of feral cats had made the bottom of her house their new home and that had created a flea infestation in her beautiful historic home. She had to hire exterminators.

And not to mention, they're always ravaging our garbage and we have to be subjected to their bodies when the cats are run over and killed.

So a few neighbors and I want to help. My good friends Xiang Gomez, Cesar Muniz and I did some research and discovered that a trap-neuter-return program is the most sustainable way to curb cat over-population. This is the way it would work: Colony managers (volunteer neighbors) will trap the cats, take the felines to get their shots - spay or neuter them, and return them back to the neighborhood, where, using their natural territorial skills, they'll prevent other cats from infiltrating the neighborhood. it's a humane and real way to help the furry felines and our neighbors.

We've already teamed up with some local veterinarians to get help spaying the cats and there are neighbors committed to caring for the cats. And the program is funded by the Sunset heights Neighborhood Improvement Association, Pet's Barn and donations.

But you don't have to start a program like this to make a positive impact in our community. Instead, donate to the El Paso Humane Society. Watch our telethon on Saturday starting at 4pm.

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