Feral cat colony collected northeast of Edmonton as part of humane society's first trap-neuter-return clinic to address overpopulation

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The Edmonton Humane Society had many feline friends on its hands Saturday morning, 94 to be exact, as the organization took part in its first trap-neuter-return clinic to address overpopulation of feral cats.

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Veterinary teams spent the day spaying and neutering a feral cat colony found on a rural property northeast of Edmonton in order to control the size of the population. About 58 adult cats will then be returned to their habitat after they have healed to live as they are accustomed to. But for the 36 kittens, they will be kept by the humane society in the hopes that they can be socialized and eventually adopted after they can be spayed and neutered.

Liza Sunley, CEO of the Edmonton Humane Society, said the organization was happy to join up with the Canadian Animal Task Force for this clinic and hope to tackle other large feral cat colonies in the Edmonton area. The cats are also vaccinated, treated for parasites and provided with permanent identification to support the ongoing health of the large populations.

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“While feral cats do not thrive in a shelter or home, it’s important that we ensure their welfare and ability to live safely in the outdoor environment where they are most comfortable in coexistence with their surrounding communities,” Sunley told reporters Saturday. “We want to make sure the animals living in our community are healthy and safe and that we’re protecting wildlife and the environment and so it’s important that we help to control that overpopulation. So events like this help us to humanely provide that spay and neuter service.”

The task force, formerly the Alberta Spay Neuter Task Force, is a volunteer-driven charity that provides care to animals to assist with community safety and improve the health and well-being of animals. Task force executive director RJ Bailot said these clinics will help control feral cat populations in communities across the province

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“While people understand the importance of spay and neuter, it can be overwhelming when you are dealing with an entire colony of cats. Through these clinics, we can support communities experiencing feral cat overpopulation and make it possible to facilitate their humane and safe care.”

Communities experiencing feral cat overpopulation can contact the task force at cataskforce.org to explore options for animal management.

The adult cats, which were humanely trapped on Friday, are scheduled to be returned to their home on Sunday after they’ve healed from the procedures. The cats have a designated caretaker near their habitat that the humane society will remain in touch with, who provides them with food, water and shelter.

This is the post-op area as staff and volunteers at the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) participated in the trap-neuter-return clinic, Saturday, July 24, 2021. Ed Kaiser/Postmedia
This is the post-op area as staff and volunteers at the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) participated in the trap-neuter-return clinic, Saturday, July 24, 2021. Ed Kaiser/Postmedia Photo by Ed Kaiser /Postmedia

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