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In Norristown, Pa., An Ongoing Effort To Control Town's Wild Cat Population

By Dan Wing

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) -- In an effort to help control the ever-growing population of feral cats in Norristown, Pa., a small, nonprofit cat advocacy group held a mass-trapping this afternoon off East Main Street.

The self-designated "Cat Crew" consists of just two regulars:  Sue Wolfe and Joann Moody.  They usually set their traps twice each week, bringing in about ten strays each time.

But with the warmer weather of spring comes a baby boom, and that's why they felt the need to hold a bigger trapping event now.

As you might imagine, it's a lot of work.   The traps are about three feet long, and about one foot tall.  When the cat goes inside to take the bait, a door closes behind it, and the cat is then taken to an area vet or clinic to be evaluated, treated for injuries if necessary, then spayed or neutered.

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(A feral cat walks into a trap in Norristown, Pa. Photo by Dan Wing)


Wolfe (center of top photo, facing away from camera) says the cats are eventually released back into the wild near where they were caught.

"Total time for males, 24 to 48 hours.  Females, three days.  Pregnant females, up to a week," she explains.

But, Wolfe says, there are always a few exceptions.

"If they're very friendly and very adoptable, we will really try hard to find a home for them," she tells KYW Newsradio.

Wolfe's trapping partner, Joann Moody (far right in top photo), has become known as "the cat lady" around town, but with limited resources she can only handle about 27 square blocks of Norristown -- even though the cats are all over town.

"I know the problem is there, but the money's not there," Moody admits, "so I kind of stick to what I can manage right now."

Wolfe says that just two female cats can lead to 20 kittens in a matter of months, so the trap-neuter-release programs are key to controlling the wild cat population.

She says the group does need help, and, whether it's a donation of food or money, or just volunteering some time, it's greatly appreciated.

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