Jefferson City animal shelter program decreases stray and feral cats

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Animal Shelter said the Trap-Neuter-Release program has decreased the number of feral cats in the area. 

Animal control supervisor Karen Jennings released data Tuesday at the quarterly animal shelter advisory meeting showing the decrease has been significant. 

"In 2014, the amount of feral cats that were brought in was 165, in 2015 it was at 94 and so far this year, only 41 feral cats have been brought in," Jennings said. 

The Trap-Neuter-Release program was started by Wild Thing, a program designed to slow the rate of reproduction by feral cats. In December, Wild Thing and the Jefferson City Animal Shelter partnered to trap feral cats at a faster rate. 

Feral cats are too aggressive to be placed in a home for adoption. Stray cats are also brought in. 

Jefferson City animal shelter veterinarian Jessica Thiele said the problem is caused by owners not spaying or neutering their pets when they initially get them.

Thiele said, despite the decrease at the shelter, she believes there is still a large community of feral cats that go unnoticed.

"They're very good at being illusive, hiding, just as a survival instinct," she said. 

Feral cats can often time be found under porches, decks and behind restaurants. 

To learn more about the Jefferson City Animal Shelter and the TNR program you can visit the Jefferson City government website