CULLMAN, Ala. – A new low-cost spay/neuter resource for cats will soon be available for Cullman County cat owners. God’s Feral Felines, a nonprofit group from Marshall County, will be opening a shelter in Cullman County in early 2020.
Since 2013, the all-volunteer nonprofit has worked to help control feral cat colonies through a trap-neuter-return (TNR) campaign.
Founder and director Pamela Keck said, “We started trapping in 2013, and at that point we were just pawning jewelry to pay for one colony at the Guntersville Wal-Mart.”
Within the next year, Keck and her friends were incorporated and received their 501(c)(3).
Keck continued, “To date, we have been the only organization dedicated to making a difference for cats in Marshall County, and since inception, we have (spayed/neutered) over 2,500 cats.”
The group began by doing TNR and soon grew as donations allowed it to help low-income individuals with spay neuter costs. In 2016, it was able to start a rescue program through Albertville’s PetSmart.
“Our rescue program is really geared more towards rescuing babies that need to be bottle fed or pregnant moms. We are not into taking someone’s cat because they don’t want their cat anymore,” said Keck.
The group recently had an opportunity to lease a building in Arab on South Main Street, within Cullman County. Keck hopes to open the rescue center by January 2020.
She explained, “We will be expanding our TNR program and our low-cost spay/neuter program into Cullman County. I want to focus on this area and make a difference.”
Keck was very clear that the group’s purpose is not for cat owners who simply don’t want their cats anymore or continually allow their cats to have kittens. It wants to focus on those cats who are clearly strays in hopes of controlling increasing feral populations.
“I’m looking to help the person who wakes up and a dumped cat has had babies on their front porch,” she said. “I am not going to be a shelter for people who just don’t want to handle the responsibility of rehoming their cat because they can’t handle it anymore. I want to focus on those cats that actually need rescuing.”
The group does not plan on coming into Cullman and trapping cats. It hopes those in Cullman County who know of or care for feral colonies will trap the cats and bring them in for vetting before returning them back to the colony.
“All the colonies that we actually have trapped, all have feral cat caregivers. If it doesn’t have a feral cat caregiver, we don’t actually trap it. We can only do so many, and I would rather trap those cats that have a better chance of survival. They have a better chance of survival if they are being fed,” Keck explained.
God’s Feral Felines will continue to plan its implementation strategy as it prepares to open its new location. For those interested in learning more, volunteering, fostering or donating, visit God’s Feral Felines on Facebook or at www.GFFCats.org/.
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