Animal safety tips

By Sarah Borys

Several weeks ago, a group of cats was discovered living a few blocks west of Beckman. The group consisted of kittens, parents and some others. The good people at CATsNAP, a rescue group based in Savoy, and myself have been working to humanely catch these cats. Everyone has returned to Champaign and trapping has gotten much harder. I would like to inform people in the area:

1. We believe these cats are feral; they have never been someone’s pet. The Champaign County Humane Society only accepts surrendered pets because, sadly, the shelter is filled beyond capacity. Animal Control will euthanize cats who are past the “socialization age.” CATsNAP will spay and neuter cats who are caught and those deemed adoptable are put up for adoption. The others are relocated to a safer area.

2. The traps are checked at regular intervals from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. If you find a cat in a trap please call either 217-419-4173 or 217-353-5243. DO NOT try to pet or release cats that have been caught. If someone is bitten, Animal Control will have to be called. If the trapped cat is not spayed or neutered, releasing it will ensure more litters of feral kittens.

3. The cats we call “pets” are domesticated animals. This means they depend on us for their survival and contrary to popular belief, cats are NOT outdoor animals. An outdoor cat will live two to four years whereas an indoor cat can live up to 18 or 20+.

4. If you find another animal caught in a trap such as a raccoon or possum, please call 217-419-4173. Do not try to release the animal yourself.

5. Please spay and neuter pets. There are already millions who need homes and over half of these animals will never get one.

Sarah Borys

Graduate student