Thursday, September 07, 2006

feral cat resources: Contra Costa & Alameda Counties California

Homeless cats need a little love, too, so a number of groups provide food and medicine to feral felines
Contra Costa Times, CA - September 7, 2006


So Fix Our Ferals is looking for six volunteers to take over, each coming one day a week. The Berkeley-based free spay and neuter clinic already has a volunteer for the seventh day: retired Golden Gate Fields jockey David Jin.

Whoever volunteers will join the scores of people who do the same thing across Contra Costa and Alameda counties. Several groups feed feral or homeless felines and have them surgically sterilized in those areas.

One group, the Feral Cat Foundation, spays or neuters about 1,000 feral or homeless felines a year and adopts out about 300 annually, said Estelle Breitmayer, foundation president. The group feeds about 200 colonies in Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

The groups have the animals sterilized and make sure the felines have shots and leukemia testing. If feasible, the cats are returned to colonies, which are maintained by the groups.

"The solution is not euthanasia," Breitmayer said. It is allowable, she added, only when cats are very ill and have no chance of recovery.

Feeders provide food and medicine while watching over the colony, said Linda McCormick, executive director of Fix Our Ferals. The feeders know when new cats arrive, and if they are not spayed or neutered, they are trapped, surgically sterilized and returned.

"It's kind of a feeding/surveillance station," McCormick said.

And if the cats are tame and fit for adoption, they are adopted out, she said.