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Humane Society’s ‘Trapping Thursdays’ take on cat overpopulation

Volunteers trap, neuter and return feral cats
Feral cat colonies are thriving at Tucson mobile home parks.
Posted at 11:39 PM, Jan 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-21 01:42:46-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Humane Society of Southern Arizona is trying to tackle feral cat overpopulation in the Tucson area.

It’s getting a big boost from a growing group of volunteers gathering for ‘Trapping Thursdays.’

The weekly meet-ups started last fall, bringing volunteers and a few Humane Society staff members together to humanely trap feral cats, bring them in overnight to get vaccinated and spayed or neutered, then returned to the same place the next day.

The practice prevents the population from growing out of control and keeps the cats from passing on disease.

A select few who embrace human attention can be put up for adoption. It’s part of the Humane Society’s ‘Trap, Neuter, Return’ program.

“We get dozens of calls a day asking for our assistance for trapping, for pet food… they need them spayed and neutered and they don’t know what to do,” said Angéline Fahey, the Humane Society’s Community Cat Program manager.

Fahey says cats generally like the desert weather and there are tens of thousands of feral outdoor cats in Pima County

The group has gathered at El Molino mobile home park over the last four weeks. Mobile home parks are often places where feral cat colonies thrive, according to Fahey. “They can find cool air underneath [the homes] during the summer and in the winter it gets warm from there,” she said.

‘Trapping Thursdays’ can sometimes save a cat’s life.

“Last week we had a cat that had to be rushed to the emergency room as soon as we got it,” Fahey said. “So we do face a lot of those problems, and cruelty as well.”

The community of people gathering for ‘Trapping Thursdays’ has grown over the past few weeks.

“Many of us have experienced trapping alone out in the middle of the night, or when it’s dark in an alley or not so great areas of town by ourselves,” said volunteer Kristen Kiernan, who has been caring for cats in her area for years. “We’ve all commented like the first couple times we went out together how great it was to be part of a group and not be alone.”

Fahey says the Humane Society is always ready to help community members with questions and is looking for more volunteers.