BALTIMORE (WJZ)—With more than 46,000 cats roaming the streets across the state last year, officials in Anne Arundel County are taking action to help the homeless felines.

The Anne Arundel Community Cat Coalition, led by The Spay Spa & Neuter Nook has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Anne Arundel County to launch a Pilot project to spay/neuter and vaccinate homeless, stray and community cats in Anne Arundel County.

Officials say the pilot project will take place in Hillsmere Shores and is funded by Rude Ranch Animal Rescue and Alley Cat Allies.

“A lot of the stray and homeless cats and kittens living on the streets in our county are lost or abandoned pets and their offspring that were never spayed or neutered. Unfortunately, these cats produce many kittens. Often these litters of kittens are rounded up and turned into the county’s animal control or local shelters and rescues. By spaying and neutering these cats before they have more kittens, we will stop the influx of unwanted and homeless animals,” said Bob Rude, Executive Director of Rude Ranch Animal Rescue and the Spay Spa & Neuter Nook.

According to Maryland Department of Agriculture’s “Survey of Animal Control, and Animal Sheltering Facilities in Maryland”, 46,360 cats and kittens were turned in to animal controls and shelters throughout the state during 2015. Of those turned in, 37% (17,500) of those cats and kittens were euthanized.

The pilot program is expected to reduce the number of cats by catching or trapping stray and homeless cats, providing spay/neuter surgeries, and returning them to their neighborhood.

“This program will show immediate benefits for the county’s Communities and the cats,” said Katherine Evans, President of Rude Ranch Animal Rescue. “Over time the population of community cats will be reduced, and animal control’s cost of accepting and caring for these homeless animals will be reduced, saving the county’s resources and ultimately tax payer dollars. We look forward to assisting the county on many projects in the future.”

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