---City unites with Outaouais SPCA to sterilize stray cats
Hoping to reduce the local population of stray cats, the city of Gatineau has formed a partnership with the Outaouais SPCA (SPCAO) and will launch a pilot project to sterilize between 30 and 50 felines this summer. According to a press release issued by the city on May 11, the pilot project – titled the Capture, Sterilization program – will mainly focus on certain areas including rue Lambert in the Hull sector. The city says the area is suitable for such a pilot project because it’s located on a small island surrounded by a creek.
Rolled out in phases, the CSRM program will start off with the identification and census of local stray cat colonies. Step two will be for the SPCAO and volunteers to capture cats, before sterilizing them – step three. The sterilization process will be overseen by SPCAO veterinarians, who will examine the cats before sterilizing them – clarifying that every cat will get spayed or neutered, micro chipped, vaccinated against rabies, and de-wormed. Veterinarians will also trim the tip of each cat’s left ear, which is the world standard to identify spayed and neutered cats.
The SPCAO will release the cats back to their colonies when they trim deemed fit to return to their habitat. The city says the SPCAO and the volunteer organizations involved will need to ensure the spayed and neutered cats in the targeted area have food and water, and to monitor the cats in that community. To create the program, the city needed to adjust its active bylaw on the care, control and handling of animals. Intended to benefit from public involvement, the city says the SPCAO will be solely in charge of conducting the program.
The city will be investing a recurring $5,000 budget to support the SPCAO in undertaking the program. Municipal council officialized the partnership during its public meeting held on the same date. Emphasizing that Gatineau’s stray cat issue is a problem that could get much worse if not addressed, Hull-Wright district councillor Cédric Tessier said the CSRM program should be an effective and humane way to do that. “It is important to promote an approach that also responds to the growing awareness of the population to animal welfare,” Tessier said in the press release.