Rescue group tries to count every stray cat in New Brunswick
Volunteer organization that traps, neuters and returns strays to wild launches online survey for residents
New Brunswick chapters of Cat Rescue Maritimes are asking the public to let them know about cat colonies so the volunteer group can gain an accurate count of the thousands of stray, feral and abandoned cats in the province.
The problem has been going on for several years. In 2013 the group predicted Fredericton would see an explosion in the feral cat population by 2020.
"We just do not know how many feral cats, free-roaming cats, abandoned cats are out in the province," said Sue Knight, the president of Carma New Brunswick.
Online cat counter
The group has now launched a survey where residents can report colonies and give specifics on the stray cats in their area.
"This will give us solid data as to how big this problem is in New Brunswick, and then we can look at ways to attack the problem," Knight said.
Until now, the volunteer group has relied mostly on anecdotal evidence of the feral cat problem.
Knight hopes data will help the organization access municipal partnerships and grants.
Sussex success story
The town works with the local Carma chapter and veterinarians to share information and work on the feral cat problem.
"The town was looking for a practical solution that would be humane and would work," said chief administrative officer Scott Hatcher.
For 16 months, the town has been involved in aiding with the trapping, neutering and return process favoured by Carma.
"It's really lowered the type and number of calls we receive through the administrative office," Hatcher said.
"These help us with large colonies," Knight said. "But there's only so much you can ask the vets to do, and obviously money is a problem."