OLDSMAR, Fla. (WFLA) – About a year ago caregiver Lisa Nadeau started trapping feral cats in her Oldsmar neighborhood. She brings them to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay for spaying or neutering, and vaccinations.
“I love animals and I know if you don’t spay and neuter what happens,”Nadeau said.
Humane Society of Tampa Bay executive director Sherry Silk told 8 On Your Side feral cats are released 24 hours after surgery.
On Friday News Channel 8 reported cats released that early can develop complications. In one trap, a cat’s wound opened and the animal bled out.
“That’s the worst-case scenario, is that the wound gets pulled back open,” explained Don Thompson, executive director of the Hillsborough Animal Health Foundation.
That report outraged feral cat supporters, who flooded social media with some not-so-sociable comments. They claimed 8 On Your Side’s report was biased.However, one feral cat caregiver told News Channel 8 she’s seen cats released within a few hours of surgery and is appalled. She houses them for up to three days.
Nadeau also thinks 24 hours, especially for females, is too early. She keeps them confined for at least two days. “The trap is big enough for a small, I put a small litter pan in there, keep blankets over it to keep them quiet,” Nadeau explained.
Twice a day she walks down her road into the woods to provide food and water for about 10 cats.
“I keep a little Vaseline on the bottom for the ants and I change the water daily,” Nadeau said.
Not everyone in the neighborhood is happy about it. One neighbor said Nadeau should feed the cats if she wants but should do so on her end of the street.
The Humane Society of Tampa Bay and Hillsborough County believe the trap neuter vaccinate and release program leads to fewer cats needing to be euthanized. Nadeau concedes nature has something to do with it too.
“We have coyotes here, gators. There’s a bobcat that lives back here too, lots of wildlife so, I mean, they do take out the young ones, usually disappear first,” she said.
Nadeau claims she has trapped several young cats and turned them over to rescue organizations for adoption. That has helped reduce the numbers in her neighborhood, she said. She also claims there are fewer kittens and attributes that to the trapping program. She hopes to re-trap the cats in her neighborhood within the next year to provide them with rabies booster shots.