Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Foul play suspected in disappearance of feral cats from Trinity Park in Fort Worth
Volunteer caretakers are offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who knows what happened to the cats.
According to the city of Fort Worth, more than 5,000 cats wind up at Fort Worth’s municipal animal shelter each year. Many of those are feral cats – wild, undomesticated cats that are not adoptable and are not rescued. So back in November, as part of a push to increase live outcomes at the City shelter, the city of Fort Worth began a series of public meetings to discuss proposed implementation of a privately-funded, city-wide TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) program. TNR is a proven, humane method of managing feral and community cat populations and is used in cities across the country. Feral, or community cats as they are sometimes called, are spayed, neutered, and vaccinated, and then released back into the wild with volunteer caretakers to feed and care for them.
A pilot program involving multiple feral cat colonies had been under way for years at Trinity Park in Fort Worth, and from all accounts the program was a great success – a perfect example of how TNR should work. The cats had all been spayed or neutered and vaccinated, and their numbers were dwindling naturally. The cats were being cared for by a large, dedicated group of volunteers. Approximately 23 cats were part of the Trinity Park program, which was featured in an NBC5 video in December.
And then two of the colonies disappeared.
The disappearance of 18 cats over a period of just a few weeks is raising some eyebrows. Fort Worth Animal Control sent officers out to the park as soon as they were notified, but found nothing. Even the custom-made, coyote-proof shelters that had protected the cats from the elements are missing. A jogger reported to volunteers that he saw a black cat in the park – dead and decapitated – around the time the colonies began to disappear, leading them to suspect foul play.
Volunteer caretakers are offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who knows what happened to the cats. Anyone with information is urged to email email@example.com. The caretakers would like to hire a private detective to try and find out what happened, but they need to raise money for a retainer. If you’d like to contribute, you can make a donation at www.cattailz.org. Please make a note that the donation is for the Trinity Park feral cats investigation.
Volunteers continue to hope for miracles. In the meantime, they’ve resurrected a memorial to the kitties who once lived happily in the park.
Pegasus News Content partner - DFW Animal Rescue
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