More than 30 feral cats from a Lower Sackville trailer park are set to be spayed or neutered by the Nova Scotia SPCA on Wednesday in an attempt to get the booming population under control.
This is the first time animal welfare groups have collaborated on a project of this size.
Residents at the Sackville Manor trailer park say the feral cat population is exploding so Spay Day HRM — a local cat rescue non-profit — decided to do something about the problem.
"Someone approached me about the problem in Manor Park, and I said well, let's see what we can do," said Pat Lee, a Spay Day volunteer.
She said although any animal trapped, neutered or spayed and released helps reduce the number of kittens being born in the wild, the 30 cats captured are just a drop in the bucket.
"This park in Lower Sackville isn't unique at all," said Lee.
Veterinarians with the Nova Scotia SPCA have volunteered to do the surgeries on captured kitties on Wednesday.
"It's kind of like a MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) unit, because you're getting a surgical team together to perform surgeries on feral animals, which is a little bit more tricky just because they are not domesticated house cats," said Sandra Flemming, the provincial animal care director for the SPCA.
The SPCA's low-cost spay and neuter clinic started in May, but most of their work is with household pets.
This is the first time Spay Day HRM, the SPCA and other groups have tried to fix an entire cat colony.
"To have a project like this come together, it takes a lot of groups in partnership. So I have two or three other rescue organizations who are doing the trapping and helping out, so it's very much a partnership and a group activity," said Linda Felix, the founder of Spay Day HRM.
The other groups involved in the project include the Second Chance Animal Rescue Society, Mischief's Memory Cat Rescue, Pick of the Litter Society and the Portuguese Club, which donated the hall that has been converted into a makeshift animal shelter for the cats.
Felix said this kind of large-scale trap and spay or neuter program is what needs to be done across the city to get the population under control.
"This is the way things need to be done humanely and in partnership with a lot of groups because the problem is so large," she said.
Spay Day HRM will try to find homes for as many of the feral cats as possible, but for those that can't find homes, they'll be returned to the trailer park where they were first trapped.