Group Hopes to Solve Feral Cat Problem

People from the group "Puget Sound Working Cats" are working to control the cat population in Yakima by trapping feral cats, neutering them, then releasing them. A process called TNR.

Cris Ellingson said, "Yakima has really needed to have a TNR program for a long time so I've been trying to get them equipment, support, and come over and help them."

Ellingson was in Yakima to help trap the cats, and start a similar program in central Washington. They started at the All Star Motel, where more than 80 cats run wild.

Fred Hammes, who's starting a similar group in Yakima, said, "we're going to do our best. We're going to do our best."

To add to the feral cat problem at the Motel, some people drop off animals in the parking lot since it's close to the freeway.

General Manager Jeannie Lopez said, "it's to the point where it's out of our control, we can't even help them anymore."

The cats will be taken to the Seattle area where they'll be spayed, neutered, and vaccinated. Then they'll be taken to a farm to help control the pest population, others will be adopted.

Ellingson said, "and let them live out their lives and no more kittens and it works well."

The group says similar efforts have prevented more ferals from being euthanized around the state and provide a better future for both problem areas and the animals themselves.

Ellingson said, "we like them to have good lives instead of having a bad life trying to exist with freeways, poisoning, and who knows what."

Some of the cats may be taken to a farm owner in Walla Walla, who's offered to take care of the them.