A popular animal population control organization that lost its funding last year is back in action.

T-Snip, which helped spay and neuter more than 500 feral cats in 2016, is already well on track to beat that record this year.

The not-for-profit organization uses a trap, neuter, return system that slowly reduces local feral cat populations.

Dr. Lucy Roberts, a veterinarian at Animal Medical Center in Northport, volunteers her services to T-Snip, analyzing data on cats that get brought in, along with the amount that wind up being euthanized.

It’s an unfortunate reality that many unwanted cats and dogs wind up being euthanized, but Roberts said T-Snip’s goal is slowing and eventually reversing feral cat population growth.

“There will always be cats,” she said. “We’re not trying to exterminate cats. We are trying to control them and help the population so it’s safe, it’s livable, it’s manageable.”

Cats are territorial creatures, so spaying or neutering a cat and putting it back where it was found allows the fixed cats to use up the food and shelter in that location, keeping new cats away.

Volunteers set humane traps in parking lots and behind buildings, and bring trapped cats to participating clinics that examine the animals, spay or neuter them and tip their ears so volunteers know which cats have already been treated.

T-Snip’s funding was cut from the Tuscaloosa County Commission’s budget last year, but Roberts said it’s a relief having it back.

“When you’re fixing 500 cats in a year, there is some cost to that,” she said. “But it’s cheaper than rounding those cats up and euthanizing them, and it’s more effective.”

The Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter is already seeing fewer strays, Roberts said.


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