PANGBURN, Ark. (KARK)- Like a lot of towns, Pangburn is experiencing an overwhelming amount of cats, as the population of feline families is exploding.
“I am estimating there are about 20 cats just in this neighborhood,” Joan Fithen said, of her three-block region in town.
It’s believed there are around 200 cats currently, throughout the small city, which officials attribute to a lack of spaying and neutering.
While the abundance of cats can be a nuisance at times, concern over the cats going hungry and starving seems to be the bigger worry.
“When I feed them [my own cats], all the stray cats like to come eat as well,” Fithen added.
Just last week, a woman working in a local restaurant said she left the windows of her vehicle cracked, and when she returned from her shift, she opened her car door to find a vehicle full of terrified cats, trying to escape.
After cat numbers have grown much over the last few years and citizens have asked for the city’s help, good news is in sight- the Humane Society of neighboring Heber Springs will be lending a helping hand.
Humane Society officials have offered to share grant money from Petco with Pangburn, in order to spay and neuter 50 homeless cats, of their estimated 200.
Months ago, Pangburn City Mayor Mike Marsh looked to the organization for remedy.
Mary David, treasurer at the Humane Society, said she is now “just waiting on him to trap them and bring them up here.”
David says cat traps range from $30 to $68 each and can be found at feed stores and online.
Since the facility staff has utilized the “catch and release” program in other communities, the number of homeless and hungry cats has significantly declined in those areas, according to David.
Mayor Marsh says the city will again discuss trapping the cats, at the October city council meeting.
David said there is no contract, further talk or formal agreement needed with the city- rather, the cats just need to be caught and driven to Heber Springs.
She says the Humane Society will do the rest, for a 50-cat maximum.
Marsh said he hopes to acquire grants to fix the remaining cats, adding that he does not believe euthanasia is the answer, as other towns have done.
David says she hopes the positive outcome of the 50 fixed cats will be enough to encourage people in the community to make donations to Pangburn, toward funding the remainder.
Cats which are caught and receive surgery will be marked with a clipped ear afterward, to denote they’re sterile.
David warns cat owners in the area that if their cat is running freely, without a collar or a previous spay/neuter tattoo on it’s belly, it could likely be captured and operated on.
David also says cats which are found to be friendly will be kept at the facility for adoption to good homes, and cats found to be feral will be returned to where they were caught in Pangburn.