WFIT Features
2:38 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Dedicated Cat Lovers Strive To Reduce Feral Cat Population

Debbie Rich, former President of Space Coast Feline Network, with one of her 27 cats.
Debbie Rich, former President of Space Coast Feline Network, with one of her 27 cats.

Understanding the complex and emotional issue of free-roaming and feral cats is essential to combating cat overpopulation.

Although there has never been an official count of the number of feral cats in Brevard County- estimates range anywhere from 25,000 to 200,000 cats. What can be accurately counted, though, are the 16,000 feral cats spayed or neutered over the past 4 years through Trap-Neuter-Return programs (TNR), supported by private donations. That makes 16,000 cats that will not contribute to population increase. Studies support this fact: TNR programs prevent breeding, which allows populations to decrease by attrition. Increases are caused by irresponsible pet-owners who abandon cats to fend for themselves, which is an ongoing problem.

Debbie Rich, former President of Space Coast Feline Network, a non-profit group dedicated to the humane care and control of the homeless cat population in Brevard. Debbie is a self-professed “failed” foster mom with 27 cats and an enthusiastic advocate for feral cats.