What does Northport plan to do about its feral cat problem?

Northport council approves feral cat program

NORTHPORT, AL (WBRC) - Northport city leaders want a policy saying fewer cats will be euthanized at Tuscaloosa’s Metro Animal Shelter as a more animal-friendly solution when it comes to controlling feral cat populations.

The Northport City Council gave animal control officers the option of using cages to catch and later release feral cats.

“What we want to do is put in an ordinance together where we work with local organizations to help reduce that feral cat population,” Northport City Council President Jay Logan said.

It’s in line with proposals suggested by the Tuscaloosa Spay and Neuter Initiative Program, or T-SNIP. Members of the group are hoping to spay and neuter more feral cats so fewer will have to be put to sleep at the shelter.

“On Highway 43 and Mitt Lary, there are quite a few cats there. I’ve seen them climb in and out of the dumpsters,” Northport resident David Roberts said.

Some folks say it’s easy to find colonies of feral cats around town. Roberts feels more comfortable with cats being fixed than killed if they can’t be adopted.

“So whatever they’re doing is better than what’s going on. The good thing is that they take cats turn them in and take them back to where they were, which helps with the rodent population. I think it’s a humane thing,” Roberts said.

Officials with T-SNIP told Northport city councilors that euthanasia rates for cats at the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter have dropped by more than half between 2014 and 2017. And the intake of feral cats is down by more than 60 percent.

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