Although our project is not sexy or fun or cool, It is vital for a desperately overlooked problem. While the feral cat situation in Portland is currently being addressed by organizations like the Feral Cat Coalition (FCCO), it is quite a different story in Clackamas County, Portland's neighbor to the South. Although Clackamas County government provides services for dogs and wildlife in need, they have absolutely no programs that serve the cats in the community. This means that every stray, every feral, every cat left behind when their owner moves away, becomes incapacitated, or dies without a plan for pet care, is at risk of becoming homeless and forgotten . Without the assistance of the county shelters, this situation places an unsustainable burden on the smaller animal welfare organizations in the Portland area since they end up being the only ones taking these cats in, providing services for them or working to find them placements so they don't end up suffering and perishing.
The problem is especially critical in the feral cat community, where there are absolutely no local services to provide spay/neuter surgeries, relocation or medical care. Our project will provide 20 humane feral cat traps which will be stored in Clackamas County so that residents and volunteers can have ready access to them instead of traveling to FCCO in SW Portland every time a trap is needed. Having Clackamas specific traps cuts down on time committed and money spent on gas for residents who are often already financially burdened. Volunteers will help transport the cats in traps to Feral Cat Coalition where they will be spayed/neutered and returned to their property in Clackamas County, assuming other rehoming situations are not available. While the ultimate goal would be to campaign for the county to include cats in their animal services department, this is our starting point in what can hopefully grow into a movement and ultimately change the policies currently in place.
Funded by Portland, OR (November 2016)