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moved into a feral cat colony

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
For the last couple months I have been searching for information on feral cats. I have recently came across TCS. I am so glad to have found a site like this. So here is the problem.

In august we bought our first house. The house was previously owned by my dad. When we were in the process of making arrangements my dad told me about the feral cats. They had been here since he moved in 3 years before. Apperantly an older lady on the street had passed away and her cats had been let outside (at least 4 years ago, not sure exactly) My dad felt sorry for the cats and started to feed them.

I spent alot of time over the summer at the house doing this and that. The cats were always around, although you could never get close to them. In June I found a litter of kittens and took them home. They were scared but young enough that by the end of the evening they were acting just like all my other cats. I found good homes for them all.

When we moved in we continued feeding them for a while. I tried to contact the humaine society several times. Finally I got them to come out and trap some of the cats. They were so rude to me. They acted like it was my fault the cats were there. They told me I absolutely cannot feed them or I will get prosacuted. After about a week of enduring the rude behavior, I was becoming very frustarated. They had trapped about 14 cats and kittens. Then they wanted to start chargeing me everytime they came to pick up a cat. I had already paid 35.00 for rental fees on the trap.

I know there are cats left. I see them from time to time. They arent always in the yard like they used to be, as I am not feeding them any more. I have seen a pregnant cat recently,as well as others.

The other night, when I let my Jerry(2 year old male, fixed) out for his walk at twighlight;Jerry loves to chase moths at night, so he ran after one in the backyard. I saw a cat come out of the woods and couldnt get back there in time. The big mean cat pounced on Jerry. I ran to them and both cats took off. I could hear them screaming in the woods. I tried to find Jerry with a flashlight, but I couldnt find them. When Jerry came back he was bleeding from his eye. He is now fine and suffered no lasting effects. Next time he may not be so lucky.

I know I am rambling , I just need advice. Who do I call that will care and help the cats. When I fed them they were always around, they could be easily caught. Now they are only around at night. I just want to help the cats. They dont deserve that life. Also they keep having kittens. Than-You for your replies.
post #2 of 13
Sadly, once you start feeding them others will come. But they need food to survive, so it is a catch-22. If you have the money to get them trapped and spayed and neutered then by all means feed them, get them trapped and vetted. So many places now are making it illegal to feed them. If I lived where you do, I would probably be in jail most of the time then.

If you can't do follow-through care, and no one here will fault you if you can't afford to neuter and spay dozens of cats, then you don't feed them. There are organizations that will help you though


Try this link: Good luck!
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Those are great links, do you know if any organazations are closer to south bend indiana?
post #4 of 13
I would post on the Best Friends Message Board...they have a network that they can direct you to in order to find individuals to assist you with the feral cats...now is a really good time to trap, neuter and return them because you definately do not want kittens this next spring.

Here is the message board link:


Here is the email for the Best Friends Network:


Good Luck!!
post #5 of 13
You can also try to contact alley cat allies (www.alleycat.org). There may be someone that is part of their network in the area that can help.

We fed, then trapped and had spayed/neutered all the cats around here. It can take quite a while - but we had no kittens this spring. It took a lot of money. Maybe you can search for low-cost spay/neuter services in your area.

Was the Humane Society the only organization in your area? You can also run a search for no-kill rescue sheters. They often have low-cost spay/neuter programs or might lend or rent you a trap.

Click on any of the links in my signature line - there are resources for searching for low-cost spay/neuter programs and for no-kill rescue shelters.

I'm so sorry about your experience with the Humane Society. Pretty awful for people who are supposed to support humane treatment of animals. You'd think being curteous to humans was part of their agenda.
post #6 of 13
Oh - I should also mention. You can also try calling your vet or other local area vets. Breifly tell them your problem and ask if they know anyone - whether it is an individual or an organization - that might help. I know if anyone called our vet they'd take your phone humber and call us - then we'd call you and we'd come help. They also have a pool to help people get ferals spayed and neutered, and they'd help with the State's low-cost spay/neuter certificates. I don't know if Indiana has a low-cost spay/neuter program, but the vet(s) might be aware of free or low-cost programs if the State doesn't have one. You never know - there may be people like us in your area. Vets are the people who would know something like that. It sure never hurts to ask!
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
I really wish I would have known about some of these sights before i called the humane society.!There were so many kittens that probably could have been tamed. The humaine societys policy is to not tell you what happens to the animals, but im positive they put them to sleep.
At the time I called I thought I was doing what was best, becuase the life they had been living was not good at all. I figured the humaine society was the only option. I had no idea about the programs avalible to help feral cats.

I live in a very small town. The humaine society is 45 minutes away. I belive that is why they were giving me a hard time(they had to drive to my house 1 or 2 times a day for over a week.)

I dont know if any of thease programs are in my area. I emailed for information and I will volenteer anything to help them. I can not afford to get them fixed, but i can help catch them and take them some place to get fixed.

Since I was told to quit feeding the cats, (and they trapped about 14 cats)They are not always around the yard any more. I think that if I starteds feeding them agian they would come back however. I hope that i can find a program in my area.

Thank you so much!
post #8 of 13
If you put out food, they'll come back. But if I were you, I'd make sure I had everything lined up first to make sure you can trap them and take them somewhere to get them spayed or neutered. If you exhaust all other resources, does the Humane Society have a low-cost spay/neuter program? Perhaps you could borrow a have-a-heart humane trap from your vet and take the cats there to get them spayed and neutered.

Once you find out how much the cheapest place is to get the cats spayed/neutered, then you can estimate how much it's going to cost. Maybe then you could put out a flyer telling your neighbors that you plan to trap the cats of the area to have them spayed neutered so the community doesn't have an on-going problem, but it's going to cost X dollars and you're raising money for it? Just brainstorming here.....

And do try your vets - they may know of local resources you can't find on Internet searches.

post #9 of 13
Here are some places that may have live traps available for you to use. Some will charge you a deposit that is refundable upon return of the trap.

- any vet office
- county sheriff
- town/city police
- local humane societies
- local rescue groups

If you have trouble finding some of these, like Laurie (LDG) said, call around to local vets and ask for a referral. You can ask them for discounted services while you have them on the phone with you (provided your neighborhood wishes to chip in and help with this).

Many (publicly funded) shelters will put down feral cats as they deem them unadoptable. Most kittens go also, unless the shelter works with local rescue groups that have the resources to socialize feral kittens. No-kill shelters often scour the public shelters to pull cats such as these.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am so upset becuase have just seen a new (apx. 2 month old) Kitten out in the yard. i really had thought all the kittens were gone to the humaine society. I really hope I can find some help soon, it is getting so cold now.

I know im not supposed to but I fed that little kitten. He would not let me get close, but I can watch out the window and he ate as soon as I went in the house. He has probably been so cold at night. I cant stand to think about the conditions they live in.
post #11 of 13
Lilly, it's a problem for people with big hearts. It can really hurt to care.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am so glad fo all the responses. everyone has really helped so much. It seems so sad to me that I have been going through this for two months, In this time I have spoke to the police departement in my town and also the county humaine society. No one has even mentioned a program to spay/neuter feral cats. I had a live trap, rented from the humaine society, for one week. This was back in the begining of September.

They gave me so much problems and were very rude to me! One lady even had me in tears on the phone.(becuase she was downright rude.) I called them for help. It took two weeks of calling and emailing them to even get someone to work with me on trapping the cats. All it would have taken was for them to tell me right off about some of thease programs.

Dont they know about the programs? Isnt it the job of the humaine society to take care of unloved animals?

Please if anyone knows if there is a local chapter of any feral rescue programs in or surronding South Bend Indiana let me know. I live about 40 minutes south of south bend indiana. I have wrote down some phone numbers I am going to call tomorow. I also plan to call the local vet to see if he may know.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have been doing more research than ever on feral cat colonys in the last week. I had no idea what a widespread problem this really is! I just read samoa's story today. I cried for that poor cat.
I wish somehow I could get the cats(that live in my woods) to understand how much I just want to help them. I just want to say agian what a great thing you people do for cats across the world.
Thank-you so much for shareing your experience with me!
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