Cat project to be introduced in Middlebury

Residents who care for outdoor cats can learn how to improve their quality of life at a meeting to be held soon.

Posted on Jan. 3, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury residents who take care of outdoor cats can learn how to be part of a new program to improve their quality of life at an informational meeting from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Middlebury Community Public Library.

The Elkhart County Feral Cat Coalition will explain how residents can be a part of the Middlebury Town Cat Project, a pilot project aimed at humanely reducing the size of the outdoor free-roaming cat population through a trap, neuter and return program. The project has been made possible by a grant from the Elkhart County Community Foundation and the Huff Animal Protection Trust. The Middlebury Town Council in October approved Middlebury as the site of the project.

“Our organization’s mission statement is to humanely reduce the cat overpopulation in Elkhart County,” said Chris Bralick, Elkhart County Feral Cat Coalition president. “Just seeing the number of cats turned into the Humane Society every year has motivated us to try and reduce those numbers through trap, neuter and return.”

When cats have been lost or abandoned they often revert to wild behavior and group together in colonies outdoors or in structures such as warehouses, factories, abandoned buildings or barns.

“Town Marshal Mike McCloughen contacted us after getting calls to his office about outdoor cats,” said Bralick. “He contacted the Humane Society of Elkhart County, and they referred him to us.”

“The Elkhart County Feral Cat Coalition is very enlightening in helping people understand feral cats and what needs to be done, and we are very glad to have them here,” McCloughen said.

“We have the beginning of a problem in Middlebury, and with their help, it won’t get worse, if residents participate.”

A reduced spay/neuter/vaccination package is available to town residents who participate for their outdoor cat colonies.

To learn more about the Elkhart County Feral Cat Coalition, visit www.elkhartferalcats.org or call 214-7125.

If You Go

What: Informational meeting on the Middlebury Town Cat Project

When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 18

Where: Middlebury Community Public Library, 101 E. Winslow Street

Why: To see how you can help stop the overpopulation of outdoor, free-roaming cats in Middlebury.

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