"It's a lot of cats for the shelter to handle," Holly Grim, assistant manager of the Frederick County Animal Shelter. "It's very difficult to find a lot of cats homes in that great number. A lot of the cats will be feral cats, they'll be sick. And, it's a great expense to the community," Grim says.
In the last year, this shelter took in about 1,300 hundred cats. They say they've seen one household alone bring in anywhere from 17 to 30 felines.
"We generally see about a five-percent increase in cats each year," Grim says. "I attribute that to the increase in population in the county and the continued uncontrolled breeding of cats. People tend to take much better care of dogs than they do of cats."
Shelter officials say, unlike dogs, when most people no longer want their cats, they just release them outside into a world of danger.
The Frederick County Animal Shelter says that many stray cats congregate to cat colonies. They are usually found behind restaurants and near dumpsters. They say the cats hide out and eat, while also breeding diseases.
"Life for a cat in the wild is extremely hard," Grim says.. "They're susceptible to diseases and parasites and injuries, attacks from other animals."
Luckily, one group of
"It just became clear that
this is technically a growing issue for us and we needed to put an end to
it," Thalia Ortiz, a member of the Cat Control Team at
The team is asking the Frederick County Board of Supervisors and State Representatives to make cat licensing the law, and require them to be spade or neutered.
"We feel bad for the animals," says Ashlynn Smeltzer, a member of the Cat Control Team. "This was a human created problem. It's not their fault they're out there on the street not being taken care of. We want to be the cat's advocate," Smeltzer adds.
Shelter officials say the cat population will continue to rise during the summer months when more people are out. The students plan to launch a multimedia campaign to raise awareness on the issue.