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Officials seek caretakers for feral cat colonies in Salt Lake County

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Posted at 10:09 PM, Dec 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-16 00:09:42-05

SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake County Animal Services and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary are looking for caretakers and locations to keep free roaming feral cats.

The wild cats have fewer options when it comes to finding a caretaker, as they are not a typical house cat.

Sandy Nelson is the marketing and communications coordinator with Salt Lake County Animal Services, and she said the feral cats can be a boon to the neighborhoods they reside in.

“They will help keep the rodent population under control,” she said. “The second benefit is all of the community cats that have been ear tipped, you know that they are spay and neutered. That way you’re not creating an even bigger colony, because there will be no new kittens that are added to that colony.”

The groups are looking to establish more colonies of the feral cats. Nelson said the cats don’t need homes, just caretakers.

“Feral cats are not meant to be in a home; they’re feral,” Nelson said. “So they need to go back out into the community, which is a great thing for neighborhoods.”

Nelson said they are also working to relocate some of their existing colonies of feral cats.

“Sometimes what happens is we have an existing colony in the neighborhood, and the caretaker of those cats, the individual who feeds those cats, that individual either moves or passes away and no one is there to take care of those cats,” Nelson said.

Nelson said the cat colonies allow the feral cats to live happy lives.

“This is how they live, this is how they’ve grown up,” Nelson said.

Officials said they are looking for caretakers in both residential and farm/ranch settings. They are looking for people who can provide a safe spot for free-roaming cats to live out their lives. Those interested can email cisbert@slco.org and/or ashleyw@bestfriends.org for more information.