‘Let’s help these cats:’ Volunteers team up to reduce feral cat population in Thomasville
THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) - A grassroots effort is forming in Thomas County aimed at reducing the number of feral cats that roam around Thomasville and the surrounding countryside.
This comes at a time when animal control services in the county have been in flux this year after county leaders decided to end a relationship with the Thomasville Humane Society. These new volunteers say they want to step above the fray and make meaningful change.
One of their first ventures came Thursday morning at the dump in Metcalf. A trio trudged into the woods to see if the trap they had set up the night before had caught a cat.
The meowing they heard as they grew closer was confirmation their time hadn’t been wasted.
Suzanna Winton grew up in Metcalf and currently lives in Thomasville. Her mother still lives in that area and told her about the growing feral cat population at the dump in December.
“I just couldn’t stand the idea of kittens being out in the weather like that with nothing to eat,” Winton said.
She started to leave food out for the cats, but she knew that wouldn’t be enough. To make a lasting change, she’d need to get the cats spayed or neutered.
Her research led her to a newly created Facebook group, the AllSaintsCat TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return), created by Kristen Manza. Manza said she is relatively new to Thomasville and was stunned to see the number of cats near her apartment complex.
“I saw 20 or 30 cats and kittens were being born and nobody was really doing anything,” she said.
Manza started to poke around and realized there were a number of resources available, many by nonprofits in the community. She realized all it would take is the willingness to try.
“It’s an issue when you see cats get hurt and nobody really doing too much about it, so I took that initiative to say it’s about time,” she said.
Manza and Winton discovered two kittens in their traps at the Metcalf dump. They took both to the Thomasville Humane Society, where Operations Manager Hillery Allen was waiting for their arrival.
“The more we keep on it, the numbers stay down,” Allen said.
While no longer able to accept strays, the Thomasville Humane Society can still provide services, and they recently received a $1,000 anonymous donation that will help fund the spaying and neutering of 25 cats.
“Seeing that larger increase of the community members coming out is grand,” Allen said.
“Let’s help these cats, let’s fix it,” Manza said. “Let’s put politics aside because the more times people are fighting against each other, the less cats are being helped in that time.”
Manza encouraged anyone interested in helping their effort to reach out via their Facebook Group or reach out to any of the groups listed above.
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