May 19, 2011 10:38 AM by David Ortiviz

Animal shelter wants managed cat colonies

Animal control officers says the stray cat population in Pueblo is out of control. Right now, Pueblo Animal Services traps and removes cats from the street, but the feral felines are wild, aggressive and antisocial. "If they're not handleable, they're not adoption candidates," said Julie Justman, Associate Director of Pueblo Animal Services.

Justman says in most cases feral cats are euthanized--however she says it's not solving the problem since wild cats continue to breed. "That traditional method is not working here in Pueblo," said Justman. "It's not reducing the number of intakes coming into the shelter here," she added.

Now the animal shelter wants the city's permission to trap, neuter and return the cats into managed colonies. That means the cats would still live on the streets but volunteers would feed them and notify the shelter when a new cats needs to be spayed or neutered. "Once they're sterilized they're not going to be breeding. They're not going to be roaming as much, because they have a colony manager that's providing a regular food source for them," said Justman.

Justman says the Pikes Peak Humane Society in Colorado Springs is already using the trap, neuter and return system. "It's working," said Justman. "It's relatively new. Right now I think they have 80 managed colonies."

We're talking with a woman who runs a managed cat colony in Colorado Springs. Watch for this story tonight on News First 5.



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