Humane Society programs in Northwest Colorado encourage adoptions of cats
Intent green, gold and blue gazes from seven pairs of feline eyes greet guests to the cat room of the Craig Animal Shelter as with tentative meows and purrs the cats work to secure the attention of potential adopters.
Programs offered by two Humane Societies in Northwest Colorado are encouraging more adoptions including the adoption of feral cats.
Of the seven adult cats available for adoption on Tuesday at the Craig shelter, one or two might be most suitable as ranch cats due to their feral nature, said Ann Anderson, president of Humane Society of Moffat County.
The Humane Society of Moffat County and the Craig Animal Shelter are separate entities. Society volunteers work with the shelter and local law enforcement to provide assistance to the animals in Craig and Moffat County.
The number of stray cats at the shelter is relatively low but could grow higher especially as the group looks to raise funds to help tackle the problem of feral cat colonies in Craig.
“One cat colony has been identified in the Shadow Mountain area in Craig and we have heard rumors of others,” Anderson said.
Animal control officers investigate animal related concerns and contact the Humane Society when they want volunteer assistance including occasional trapping of feral cats, Anderson said.
During the busy months of August, September and October the group helps to lower the cost of adoption by paying a portion of the fee and in 2016 the group transferred 72 stray cats from Craig to no-kill adoption facilities in Garfield and Summit Counties, Anderson said.
“A lot more cats would be put down without the transfer system. That is currently covered by individual donations,” Anderson said.
Routt County Humane Society recently took 16 cats and kittens from an out-of-control feral cat colony in McCoy, near Routt County’s southern border.
A property owner had begun providing food for the feral cats with good intentions, but soon, the colony reproduced and multiplied, said Alexis Pagoulatos, executive director of the Routt County Humane Society.
“People often misjudge how quickly they can reproduce, and what starts as a well-intentioned feeding of needy animals can become an out-of-control situation,” Pagoulatos said.
Like Frankie, some of the cats are shy and sweet, while others are a bit more wild and crazy, she said.
The organization is seeking local landowners who might benefit from one or two barn cats, which would need to be fed and provided water but would also help with eliminating rodents.
“It’s an inexpensive, pretty adorable way to treat your rodent problems,” Pagoulatos said.
The shelter is offering free feral cat adoptions through January in hopes of making the adoption process as easy as possible.
Each adoptable cat is spayed or neutered and comes with a veterinary examination and a clean bill of health, Pagoulatos said.
The shelter currently houses 16 cats in kennels and expects to bring in 10 more from the same property soon.
Pagoulatos said the cats are wary of humans, but feral cats are able to develop relationships with people given time.
“We are doing our best to keep their stress levels down, but they’re pretty stressed in the shelter environment,” she said.
Most of the cats are fairly young, including some kittens.
Pagoulatos said it’s recommended that people who choose to provide food for feral cats should trap and spay or neuter them to prevent more out-of-control colonies.
The Routt County and Moffat County Humane Societies can provide assistance for the cost of having cats spayed or neutered.
For more information about adoptable cats, contact the Craig Animal Shelter at 970-824-5964. The shelter is located in Bear Creek Animal Hospital at 2430 E. Victory Way in Craig.
For more information about the Humane Society of Moffat County visit their website at humanesocietyofmoffatcounty.org.
For more information about the available feral cats in Routt County, contact Routt County Humane Society at 970-879-7247. The shelter is open from noon to 5:30 p.m. weekdays, excluding Wednesdays, and from noon to 4 p.m. weekends at 760 Critter Court in Steamboat.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.
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Wildland firefighters are starting to get some traction in battling the West Fire in far northwest Moffat County.