Diane Slater and John Janzen
Many residents of Golden are aware that our town like many in rural British Columbia, has a feral cat problem.
Perhaps you’ve seen a “stray” cat on the street or in a back alley and tried to approach it, only to find it quickly retreating apparently afraid to come anywhere near you. If so you’ve likely mat on of Golden’s many feral cats.
Feral cats are not stray cats. A stray cat is one that has had significant contact with humans, but appears to be wandering or lost. Most often as a result of neglect by its previous owner. Stray cats are often quite friendly and are sometimes taken in and cared for by compassionate humans.
Feral cats are the offspring of domestic cats (often stray or abandoned cats) and have never lived with people. They often love in “colonies” in back alleys, abandoned buildings or green urban spaces. Since feral are the direct result of human neglect, it is human society’s responsibility to care for them as humanely as possible.
In response to Golden’s longstanding problem with feral cats, several concerned residents have pooled their personal time, energy and resources to create a “feral cat action team”. The team has already humanely trapped, spayed/neutered, vaccinated and released over a dozen adult feral cats and has apprehended dozens of kittens. Over 50 of these kittens have been socialized with and adopt out into new responsible homes with another 22 kittens ready to settle in with new caregivers.
Golden’s feral cat action team has now gained registered association status as Little Mittens Animal rescue Association (LMARA). Although they recently received a small grant from the Columbia Basin Trust Initiatives, additional support, resources and volunteers are urgently needed.
If you as a Golden resident are concerned about the ongoing feral cat problem in our community and feel you can help in some way please call Alannah at 290-0279 or Diane at 344-7691. All is welcome.