Minimum funding still remains for Middle Township's Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Program, which expires at the end of the summer regardless of whether the funds are used.
The township applied for, and was awarded, a two-year $27,125 PetSmart Charities' Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Grant in 2011 to help alleviate its feral, or free-roaming, cat overpopulation problem.
With the funds, the township organized a Trap Neuter Release program in partnership with the Animal Alliance of Cape May County's Spay/Neuter Clinic in Middle Township.
Township residents who are aware of a feral cat or cats living on a private property in Middle Township are encouraged to visit the township administration office and fill out an in-person application, which will get them free voucher to have the cat spayed/neutered, receive rabies and distemper shots, ear-tipped and returned to the property. They also must set up the procedure appointment and organize the cats' delivery to and from the office.
If needed, the township will provide assistance to humanly trap the cat in order to bring it to the clinic for the procedure as well as to released back to where it was found after the procedure.
There is no fee for the program applicant and applications will be accepted at a first-come, first-serve basis.
As of last week, about $1,200 of the grant remained, which at a procedure cost of $55 per cat would allow funding for 21 additional cats. The township's goal was to have 500 feral cats spayed and neutered under this program by September 2013 when the grant expires. To date, 472 surgeries have been completed.
The goal of the program is assure the cats aren't continuously reproducing, said Middle Township Administrative Assistant Dawn Stimmel, the program organizer.
At the rate the program has been going Stimmel is confident the township will reach its goal.
"Every day, I have someone coming in to get an application," she said.
The township is looking into reapplying for the grant, or similar grants, to extend the program.
Contact Elisa Lala:
Applicants may apply for the program by filling out an application in person at the administrative office located inside Township Hall; a proof of residency is required. For additional information, call Dawn Stimmel at 609-465-8732. Program deadline is Sept. 1, prior if funding is exhausted.
The Animal Alliance of Cape May County's spay and neuter clinic is located in the Crest Haven Complex on Shelter Road in Cape May Court House. Call 609-465-6388 to set up an appointment. Vouchers expire within 15 days from the date of issuance.