Reporting Jessica Kartalija
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Almost 200,000 stray cats live on Baltimore City streets. Now, there’s a push to help reduce Charm City’s stray cat population.
Jessica Kartalija reports–help is coming in a big way.
Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, or BARCS, helps some 12,000 unwanted and abused animals each year, costing upwards of $2 million.
Now the organization is focusing on Charm City’s cats.
“The problem is, there’s just still such a large volume of animals coming in,” said Jennifer Brause, Executive Director, BARCS.
Now, with a $1 million grant from PetSmart Charities and Best Friends, BARCS can work to reduce Baltimore City’s stray cat population.
“Trap, Neuter, Return–or TNR–is a method involving spaying and neutering the cats, vaccinating them against rabies and returning them back to their original territories, where caretakers provide food and shelter,” said Brian Cordes, PetSmart Charities.
It’s estimated there are some 185,000 stray cats in Baltimore City.
This new grant will help create two new positions to help keep stray cats off the streets.
“With this award, we are going to be able to go out in the community, lower the population that’s roaming the community and start to be able to save more lives,” Brause said.
The grant comes just days after a cat in Anne Arundel County was shot with an arrow, a puppy was stabbed to death inside a home in Linthicum and three cases of abused animals were brought into BARCS in the same week.
“If people will harm an animal, they’ll typically have no problem then harming another human being. It’s a serious issue that we all have to be focused on,” Brause said.
Over the next three years, at least 10,000 feral and stray cats will be spayed and neutered within Baltimore as part of the TNR program.
In other cities that have tried Trap, Neuter, Release–euthanasia rates dropped 60%.