Tara Mayne volunteers for Animal Rights Fur-ever (ARF). However, Mayne is also trying to deal with the vast feral cat problem that seems to be quickly growing in the county.
Some of the felines come from families that cannot afford to keep them and dump them in front of a house or by the roadside. Others are homeless when his/ her owner passes away. What is left is the consequence of irresponsible pet owners who do not spay or neuter his or her cat(s).
Once homeless, for one reason or another, nature takes it from there. Litter after litter of cats is born. The cycle is repeated again.
For years Mayne has dealt with the plight of these cats.
Said Mayne, “I’ve been doing this for about two years. The cats began showing up in September and October of 2010. There are so many cats in this area; you see them by dumpsters trying to find food.” She continued, “Because the cats are feral, I have to gain the trust of the cat first before I can do anything else. I put food out and each time one comes over they get more comfortable with me sitting on the porch near them. Eventually, they trust me.”
Once trust is established, Mayne stated that she could take the cats to a veterinarian for a checkup and spaying or neutering. Some had to be put down.
“The only cats that are put down are the sick ones because can spread diseases to other cats or because they are old and suffering. It gets expensive taking the cats to the vet.” Said Mayne.
Help was not far away. Mayne received assistance from other animal right groups, individuals and the Jackson County Shelter.
Said the feline caretaker, “ARF helped with food and Petfinder. They also got a kitten spayed. The shelter has been taking the ones that I can not help, my parents, Bill and Joyce Sheets, have helped with fostering kittens and the kitten’s vet bills, the Humane Society SNAP program has helped with another 3 spays, some have been taken in by neighbors and of course my husband helped too.”
According to Mayne, she has assisted over two dozen cats.
There have been at least 25 cats that I have helped,” said Mayne, “That does not include all of the kittens. Through spay and neuter, future generations will be stopped.”