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J Appl Anim Welf Sci. 2002;5(4):285-98.

The effects of implementing a feral cat spay/neuter program in a Florida county animal control service.

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College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4458, USA.


In 1995, a county animal control service implemented a feral cat sterilization program with the goal of reducing the number of healthy cats euthanized, complaints, and the county's costs. The service collected data from a 6-year period both before and after the program's implementation. The service totaled the numbers of both cat and dog impoundments, surgeries, adoptions, euthanasias, and complaints for each year; standardized both sets of numbers on a per- 10,000-person basis to compare trends between dogs and cats; and calculated estimated costs for neutering versus impounding and euthanizing the feral cats. Changing from a policy of euthanasia of feral cats to support for trap-neuter-return did not result in an increase in the number of complaints or cat impoundments. The percentage of impounded cats euthanized decreased between the periods before and after the program began, and the percentage adopted increased. The ratio of complaints to impounds decreased between the 2 periods, and the ratio of surgeries to impounds increased. Impoundments of cats were relatively steady in spite of the continually increasing human population. Euthanasias decreased for both cats and dogs since 1997. Since 1996, complaints decreased for both. Surgeries for both cats and dogs increased over the 12 years. Adoptions for cats and dogs increased greatly in fiscal year 1998/1999.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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