Wikipedia says a feral cat is a cat that lives outdoors and has had little or no human contact; they do not allow themselves to be handled or touched by humans and will run away if they are able.
Becky Campbell of Heber Overgaard is hoping to bring awareness of feral cats and the importance of controlling the population. She has become very successful in the past year and a half in doing just that. This is a dedicated job and you never know when you will get a call for help. She has a friend we will call ‘Jack the Trapper’ who is always there to help her. Becky owns five rescued feral cats and ‘Jack’ and his wife have rescued eight that now live in their home.
Feral cats over populate very quickly. A mother cat can become pregnant while still nursing her litter. Becky tells me they have trapped 45 cats already this year. There are costs involved that include traps, food, spaying and neutering. Our Doc Myers, as most of us in Heber Overgaard call him, owns Overgaard Animal Clinic located at 2845 Highway 260. He passes on a discount to the cause, but he has costs that need to be met also. Dairy Queen has placed a can for donations at their location. It is called the ‘Feral Cat Fund’ and all the money goes to the pay veterinary bills. Becky tells me that many people in the community have donated traps and food. Recently, a very generous lady in the community donated ten traps. Any donations are appreciated and if you just donate $5 it really adds up so please donate!
So here is how it works. If you have on your land or know of any feral cats please call Becky at 480-390-5020 and make arrangements for her to come out and trap the cats. When she does and she and ‘Jack the Trapper’ are very successful at trapping, she then takes them to Doc Myers to be spayed or neutered. They put a little notch in one ear and this tells us it is feral and has been fixed. The cat is contained for one night and then returned to its original location. If this in the winter they try and supply a warming house for the cat or cats if they are to remain outside cats. This is a house that is plugged in to electricity to warm up. A lady called from Clay Springs and counted 16 feral cats. Becky and Jack caught 14!
Becky says they have not turned anyone away yet. In some cases the caller would like to keep the cat but cannot afford the veterinary cost. She says, “Do not to let that keep you from calling us.” Some call and offer to pay the costs but need help in trapping. Becky and Jack are doing their best to help everyone and are accepting volunteers.
Becky says their goal is to knock down the population in this area and it looks like they are doing just that with community help and donations. Most importantly this is about awareness of feral cats and how quickly they reproduce.
Good work Becky and ‘Jack’ you are to be commended for your sincere care and philanthropic work. Contacts: Becky Campbell 480-390-5020 or Overgaard Animal Clinic 928-535-5855.