BASALT - A nonprofit organization wants to offer a little tender loving care to feral cats in a Basalt neighborhood and ultimately reduce the number of strays.
Volunteers from the Street Cat Coalition are scoping out the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park to identify how many feral cats live there. If the number is high enough, as expected, the next step will be to use live traps to capture the animals, spay or neuter them and ultimately return them to the mobile home park, volunteer Cindy Sadlowski told the Basalt Town Council at its December meeting.
"We'll let you know once we figure out how many cats we have," she said.
Sadlowski has been a longtime volunteer with the Street Cat Coalition, an affiliate of Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE), a Glenwood Springs organization that looks out for animal welfare. The coalition started its effort nearly six years ago in Carbondale. It trapped and neutered roughly 400 cats and then returned them to their neighborhoods, Sadlowski said.
"It's a humane program," she said.
Veterinary services are provided to cats in need of treatment, and they are vaccinated. Friendly stray cats and kittens are turned over to CARE and offered for adoption.
Spaying and neutering the cats helps prevent the spread of disease.
Sadlowski said the proliferation of feral cats is much more severe in the Rifle and Silt areas than in the Roaring Fork Valley: "Basalt, Aspen - you don't have the problem we have downvalley," she said.
Feral cats have many more places to hide out in Rifle and Silt, she said. Also, fewer people upvalley tend to abandon their pets. Basalt's problem appears limited to the Pan and Fork, Sadlowski told the Town Council.
All told, the Street Cat Coalition has trapped, neutered and returned about 2,500 cats since it was formed, according to Sadlowski. The CARE website said the Street Cat Coalition is in constant need of volunteers and funds to operate the program.
More information is available at www.coloradoanimalrescue.org/content/