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More cats than dogs

Benson lost his home when his owners had to move and he couldn’t go with them. He is the featured pet this week at Katie
Benson lost his home when his owners had to move and he couldn’t go with them. He is the featured pet this week at Katie's Place Shelter. For more, visit katiesplaceshelter.com.
— image credit: Katie's Place Shelter

Maple Ridge’s new Community Animal Centre is taking in about 33 per cent more cats than dogs, council heard at its Tuesday committee meeting.

But there’s a plan for dealing with those felines, SPCA stakeholder relations manager Geoff Urton told council.

Last November, the SPCA, Katie’s Place (the cat shelter behind the SPCA) and a community member came up with three ideas to deal with unwanted cats. One was to increase education, another was to start a trap neuter-return program for stray cats, in which Katie’s Place will catch 120 stray cats a year, neuter them, then release them, as a means of population control. Releasing the cats back on to the street helps control population because the cats resume their place in the community, but can’t breed and are not replaced by new cats.

The SPCA, in turn, will spay or neuter 125 cats a year, on a discount basis, for qualifying needy families.

It’s expected as a result that 1,900 fewer kittens will be born in Maple Ridge in the next year, easing the burden on animal shelters and animal control.

In 2012, the Maple Ridge shelter cared for 439 cats and kittens and only 330 unwanted dogs.

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