Trap-neuter-return program for feral cats in Southern Utah

The numbers are in! Best Friends' local feral cat program sterilized a whopping 736 cats in 2004. That isn't to be confused with the number who were sterilized through Best Friends feral cat programs in Los Angeles and elsewhere. These 736 cats were fixed in just the area surrounding the sanctuary, right here in Utah.

Trap-neuter-return for feral cats

Diane Young runs the local program, trapping feral or "alley" cats, then bringing them to the Best Friends clinic to be sterilized. Once they're fixed, the vet marks their ears so she knows they've been done, then Diane releases them back to their natural habitats on the streets, where they're looked after from a distance. "There is nothing," she said, "quite as beautiful as a happy, fixed, well-fed feral [cat], sporting his clipped left ear, unless of course, it is a whole colony of gorgeous kids."

Volunteers help cats

Of course, Diane gets a little help from her friends! Gathering up alley cats from a 100-mile radius, from Orderville to Cedar City to Page, takes a bit of teamwork. She has a committed crew of volunteers who never stop caring for the cats. Folks from the Page/Lake Powell Humane Society set traps in their area, while Sue Kroll sets them up in the Virgin area ... and the list goes on and on of people who care about so much about cats -- who won't even let you pet them! Now, those are what we call hearts.

So don't be surprised the next time you're at Best Friends if you see lines and lines of cat cages waiting to get into the clinic. Those are just Diane Young's alley cats, getting ready for a better life. And Diane trying to reach the goal of 737 for 2005!

Read more about what Best Friends is doing to help stray and feral cats.