Haywood Animal Welfare Association (HAWA), Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation Inc., and the Humane Alliance Spay/Neuter Clinic are banding together with the Haywood County Animal Control shelter to help reduce the stray and feral cat population in Haywood County that has become such a problem in that county. In this 3 part series of articles we will look at the roles each one plays in this battle.
Haywood County Animal Control (HCAC) shelter is not a no-kill shelter and is smaller than most shelters for a county of this size. Unfortunately it is also the only one the county has to take in strays and unwanted dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens. According to HAWA’s Susan Kumpf in 2010 HCAC spent $3800 on euthanasia of 1590 animals, mostly cats.
HAWA and Sarge’s play vital roles in the system of taking the strays or feral cats from homeless to adopted. HAWA has a program called “Catch, Fix, and Release”. In this program members of HAWA canvas the county looking for feral cat colonies.
When a member finds a colony he/she checks to see if someone claims the colony. This may entail going door to door asking the neighbors just that if someone feeds the cats, then explaining to that person that HAWA needs a name to put down as an owner of the colony, and an address to bring the cats back too.
The HAWA worker also explains that all the cats and kittens caught will be taken to the Humane Alliance Spay/Neuter Clinic located in Asheville, NC. Once there they will receive excellent care from a staff of approximately 17 doctors and assistants. The cats and kittens will get check-ups, vaccinations, and spayed or neutered, all free of charge, thanks to grants obtained through HAWA. Then, 48 hours later they (the cats) will be returned home also at no cost to the owner. The wonderful part is, there is no limit as to how many you have!
This is how HAWA is attacking one part of the stray and feral cat problem in Haywood County. Thanks for reading and be sure to check out the next article in this series “Local organizations ban together to help reduce feral cat population…part 2”, where we look at Sarge’s role in the natural play.