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Great Falls Animal Shelter will no longer accept trapped cats

Great Falls Animal Shelter (September 2019)
Posted at 1:25 PM, Mar 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-15 11:50:19-04

The City of Great Falls Animal Shelter will no longer be taking in trapped cats, in an effort to eliminate housing and euthanizing feral cats. The new policy is effective on April 1, 2023.

The agency said in a news release that cats in traps are usually feral - unsocialized outdoor cats who have either never had physical contact with humans, or human contact has diminished enough over time that they are no longer accustomed to it.

Feral cats are adept at finding their own resources in their natural environment, and according to the news release, they thrive outdoors and are not reliant on people.

The city website elaborates on the decision:

Humans are unfamiliar and scary to them. When held captive these animals will fight to get away. This makes them dangerous to themselves, the staff at our facility and unsafe to adopt to the public. As such, feral cats brought into our facility are held and cared for during their legal stray hold time before being euthanized. This process is traumatic for the cat and the staff. It is also costly.

In 2022, 106 feral cats were euthanized. By no longer taking in feral/stray cats we will save the lives of these wild animals that prefer life outdoors.We will also be able to utilize the precious resources (money, staffing, and space) previously utilized on them for those animals that truly need our care.

“After careful consideration of the cost to care for and euthanize feral cats, coupled with the risk it poses to the staff, we will no longer be in-taking trapped cats to the shelter,” said Ameilia Caldwell, Operations Manager, in the news release. “This will save lives and free up resources for those animals that truly need our care.”

Residents who who can safely and humanely contain lost and abandoned domestic pet cats in a standard animal carrier may bring them to the shelter. The shelter cautions that people should only handle animals that willingly approach them and are willing to be picked up.


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