A committee formed by the Deming City Council, dubbed the "Kitty Committee" by DAG members, met last week to discuss the proposed ordinance and decided how to utilize existing resources and teamwork to combat the feral cat problem in town.
"At this point, we're not going to pursue any kind of ordinance change," Richard McInturff, city administrator, said. "The animal shelter is going to try to place more cats with ranchers and farmers and dairies, to kind of reduce that critical population."
While the animal shelter tries to place cats with agriculture producers, where the cats can help fight varmint populations that eat hay, the DAG will continue its trapping efforts in town with coordination with the city.
The DAG has long trapped feral cats in an attempt to spay/neuter and vaccinate them and then release them back where they were trapped. The logic being, if feral cats cannot reproduce and are vaccinated, the populations will fall and disease will not spread as easily.
Bob Mamuzich, honorary DAG life member who served on the city committee, explained that typically there are two types of complaints concerning feral cats: Those from property owners who see the cats as a nuisance and want them removed from their property and those from residents who are concerned about the cats' health and population figures.
The former, he explained, would go to the animal shelter where they could be adopted. The latter would be targeted by the DAG's trapping program, captured, spayed/neutered, vaccinated and then released where they were trapped.
"The feral cat committee is a liaison between the feral cat world, problem, and the city, so that the city has got some place to go when a complaint lands on their desk," he said.
Sande Foster, who heads the animal shelter, said she would work to place cats with farmers, ranchers and with dairies in the area. Cats deemed not-adoptable, either because of disease or violent behavior, could be euthanized after the 72-hour period they are required to be held.
"It's been proven that trap, spay and release does eventually bring down a population, but in some areas, it was recognized that there's so many they are posing a health and safety hazard," she added.
Both the DAG and animal shelter receive government funds and private donations to continue their respective work. Each entity offers their own version of subsidies to locals to help spay or neuter pets.
Matt Robinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org