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Cats running wild in Palm Beach County

Posted at 11:16 PM, Dec 30, 2019
and last updated 2020-01-01 16:49:04-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- Every night Jeff Foti sits out front of his house in his Westgate neighborhood. And each time he's there he sees cats, lots of cats.

"There's a lot of of cats around here they're all over the place. You see them walking around and stuff. They come in my backyard a lot," he said.

Right now the biggest animal welfare challenge that Palm beach County, South Florida and Florida in general are community cats. These are those cats you see out in the street or in your neighborhoods.How prevalent are the cats?

"So there's an estimated 200,000 community cats in Palm Beach County alone today," Rich Anderson of the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League said.

Anderson says, they're working to rectify the problem through a program called trap, neuter, vaccinate and return.

"It's the only proven humane approach to getting a handle and really getting over population of cats under control.," he said.

For instance, this year alone they will perform 5,000 surgeries on community cats. Anderson says, fixing stray cats is not just a humane situation but a public health and environmental issue.

"We do know that they impact the bird population and the population of other wildlife in our communities," he said.

Foti says, he understands the need but wishes people would let them be.

To help fight the spread of more cats Peggy Adams is holding free trapping workshops on the last Thursday of every month.

The Community Cats of the Palm Beaches TNR Group Facebook page is a proactive all-volunteer Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Return group that works closely with Peggy Adams and Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control and their TNVR programs. The group offers traps to loan out for free. Both shelters loan traps for free but require a fully refundable deposit of $85 per trap. Traps can also be borrowed from Paws on the Avenue in downtown Lake Worth and borrowed from Tri-County Humane in Boca.