Charleston-based animal society working to reduce Florence free-roaming cat population with ‘community cat project’

Published: Apr. 14, 2023 at 6:34 PM EDT
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - Rescuing stray animals and finding forever homes is one way to keep them off the streets, but one animal protection group is working to reduce the number at the source by offering a free spay and neuter clinic to free-roaming cats.

Charleston Animal Society utilized its mobile spay/neuter clinic Friday in the Florence area to assist with the ‘Florence Area Community Cat Project” to help reduce the free-roaming cat population in the Pee Dee.

The project is part of a larger initiative, “No Kill South Carolina 2024″ from the Charleston Animal Society and the Florence Area Community Cat Project is funded by the Best Friends Animal Society.

Their goal is to spay or neuter 1,000 cats by the end of the year and will focus on the areas in and around Florence where the majority of cats entered shelters.

This project comes after the Florence County Council passed an ordinance in February allowing for cats to be trapped, vaccinated, altered and returned back to the community.

The ordinance replaced the traditional “trap and kill” method of population control.

CEO and President of Charleston Animal Society Joe Elmore said mitigating the population through sterilization of unwanted free-roaming cats is a crucial step in curbing overpopulation

“It’s very very important because without a sterilization to mitigate the population and the continuing birth of unwanted litters of these cats, it will create an ongoing public health and public safety issue,” said Elmore.

Elmore said they want to continue to control the population in a humane way, and if community members are currently feeding stray cats, they should bring them in or call Charleston Animal Society to get this free service done.

“If you are feeding stray cats bring them in, call us, e-mail us, bring them in,” said Elmore. “This is a free service and that will begin the process of diminishing the number of those free-roaming cats in a humane way and it’s the most effective way to do that.”

The Florence Area Community Cat Project is a joint effort between Charleston Animal Society’s No Kill South Carolina initiative, Florence County Environmental Services, and Jayne Boswell Animal Shelter.

For people who want to take part in the Florence Area Community Cat Project or to learn more information, you can visit the Charleston Animal Society’s website.