Event aims to control Jacksonville's feral cat population


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – At First Coast No More Homeless pets on the Northside of Jacksonville, thousands of cats and dogs are saved from being euthanized every year. But tending to the number of feral cats in Jacksonville remains one of its top priorities.

"Approximately 167,000 feral cats in Duval County alone," development director Dianne Wiles said. "It's hard to truly grasp that number, but you can drive in just about any neighborhood in Jacksonville during the dusk hours and the evening hours and see homeless cats wandering around."

Since 2008, the clinic has spayed and neutered more than 20,000 feral cats. FCNMHP provides the resources to address the issue. It's just asking for local residents' help.

"If you see ferals or community cats in your neighborhood, we have traps available," Wiles said. "It's very easy to trap them and it's better to do that before the problem gets out of hand, and it can get out of hand pretty quickly. Those two cats can turn into 20 very fast."

Through a partnership with Channel 4, FCNMHP is opening up 100 free surgeries Saturday. Residents can bring their pet cats or ferals in to be spayed or neutered.

"We decided we wanted to open this up to the community and spark some excitement on getting your pet spayed and neutered because that's really the solution to ending the euthanasia to adoptable pets," Wiles said.

The check in and drop off time Saturday will be from 7:30-8:30 a.m., and pickup will be between 4 and 6 p.m.

Feral cats must come in a humane trap. If you need one, you can pick one up from the clinic off Norwood Avenue.