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When Sue Vesta came back from two weeks of vacation, she was shocked to discover that her home had sprouted a whole passel of cats. About 40 felines, adults as well as kittens, had been abandoned on the front lawn of her and her neighbor’s Lake Worth, Texas, homes.

This was just the latest manifestation of an unfortunate trend.

“People have treated Lake Worth as a dumping ground for unwanted pets,” said Vesta.

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Homeless cats peering from underbrush by Shutterstock

Vesta’s obviously not the type of person to sit on her butt and complain, though. She and her neighbor knew that if they didn’t do something, the cat population would explode. She called animal shelters in hopes of finding homes for the two dozen kittens and 14 or so adult cats, but as usual, those facilities were overcrowded and couldn’t help her. She began feeding them and providing for their needs, even playing with the kittens to help socialize them and make them adoptable.

While Vesta was trying to figure out how she could help the cats, she learned about a woman who runs a TNR program in Fort Worth. With her help, Vesta was able to trap the cats and bring them to a low-cost spay/neuter clinic.

Vesta has found homes for all but five kittens and seven adults. The Chuck Silcox Animal Shelter in Fort Worth will take the remaining kittens and place them at its adoption center at PetSmart. Vesta hopes that area residents who have a little land or perhaps a barn would be willing to take the adults, who are now neutered and vaccinated. If you live near Lake Worth and you’re interested in adopting one of the remaining cats, contact Sue Vesta at sjvesta@yahoo.com.

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Woman holding tiny gray kitten by Shutterstock

Fortunately, Vesta had the time and financial resources to take action. She has spent about $2,000 of her own money to provide food, water, shelter, and medical care for the cats, and her efforts take about five hours a day. But even if you don’t have an extra two grand lying around, you too can take action if you find cats abandoned on your property.

Most parts of the U.S. have animal care agencies that offer low-cost or free vaccination clinics as well as low-cost spay/neuter programs. If the cats are friendly, you can bring them in yourself, but if they’re feral you’ll need to trap them before you can get them fixed. Many states and towns have TNR groups, and even if there isn’t one in your area,

Alley Cat Allies has an incredible library of information on how to trap feral cats — and even how to start a TNR program.

As Ashleigh Brilliant said, “Not being able to do everything is no excuse for not doing everything you can.”

Thank you, Sue Vesta, for going above and beyond to help these abandoned cats and kittens find better lives.

Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram


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