Krum offers feline plan

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Officials seek people to help manage feral, stray cat population

Krum officials are searching for people interested in helping the city manage its stray and feral cat population.

Under an ordinance passed in August, residents are allowed to care for multiple cats that are spayed or neutered.

The city began accepting applications for the program in mid-November, and officials said they hope a campaign to promote the program will generate interest.

Krum police Sgt. Tyler Roy said that in 2011 the city’s animal control services and its handling of feral cats came under fire from local and county residents who criticized the city’s animal management.

“We got kicked in our teeth,” he said.

The city was also criticized for ticketing a resident who volunteered to vaccinate and control the city’s feral cat population. However, according to city documents, the resident exceeded the limit for the number of animals allowed in one home.

But under the new ordinance, residents can take care of multiple cats as long as they have proper shelter and facilities. The city also established an oversight committee of at least three individuals to assist in the program’s management.

Roy said the city is taking steps to develop and deliver improved animal services.

“We want to inform the people of this new program and to take advantage of it,” he said.

The Feral Cat Trap-Neuter-Return program allows residents to humanely trap, neuter and then release feral cats back into the wild.

The program works by reducing the cats’ birthrate and controlling the population, Krum Police Chief Dennis Bassinger said.

Interested residents can pick up program application packets at Krum City Hall during business hours, he said.

In early August, City Council members voted to establish an ordinance that set up procedures for registering and documenting feral cat colonies.

The ordinance mandates that all feral cat colony caretakers spay or neuter the cats and vaccinate them for rabies. The goal of the program is to lower feral cat populations and possibly find homes for the animals, officials said in August.

The feral cat program is one of two changes city officials made to their animal control services in August. The council also voted to approve an animal service contract with All-American Dogs, a Pilot Point-based animal shelter.

The city then removed animal control responsibilities from the Krum Police Department and closed its animal shelter.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is jharden@dentonrc.com .

 


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