TRURO – Local politicians are hoping to find a way to deal with an estimated 1,000 or more stray cats in Truro.
Truro Mayor Bill Mills told the Truro Daily News the intention is to “come up with a plan to deal with the number of stray cats.”
Mills said Halifax Regional Municipality has a program in which it spends $40,000 a year on dealing with stray cats but “we aren’t interested in doing that.”
Instead, the town will check with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to see what other communities are doing regarding the issue.
“And we will work with the (Colchester) SPCA to see what a reasonable program can be done and how to implement it,” said Mills.
This is great news to Sara Delaney, the branch manager of the Colchester SPCA.
The stray cat population “is absolutely a problem,” Delaney told the Truro Daily News on Tuesday. “I’m very excited it’s getting to be a topic. There’s a definite, definite need. We are treading water. We can’t do it alone.”
Delaney said, in consultation with the provincial SPCA office, it’s estimated there are “easily” 1,000 stray cats in the Truro area. In the last year, said Delaney, there were almost 500 stray cats, plus about 100 animals in the past three months alone that the shelter couldn’t accept due to overpopulation, “plus all the ones we don’t know about.”
She said there are specific areas that tend to be more highly populated with strays.
“It depends on where you live. I don’t think there’s a trailer around that doesn’t have a stray cat problem and if you are in the country or on a farm, they are drop-off zones.”
And it’s not necessarily a quick fix to take a stray to the SPCA. Delaney said the centre, on Industrial Avenue, can’t always accept the strays.
“There’s a wait list to bring in an animal, unless it’s sick or a newborn. The wait time depends on the amount of adoptions” taking place to make room for the strays.
Other issues, confirmed Delaney, include stray cats having kittens, which increases the population of strays, people hording cats, residents wanting to take the animals in but not having the finances to care for them and some “don’t know what to do” with the animals.