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Unaltered cats a concern in Roseville

Local woman thinks more can be done to avoid euthanasia
By: Penne Usher, Press Tribune Correspondent
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They live in the shadows, the alleyways and empty lots of almost every neighborhood. They are feral cats.

The number of the elusive felines in the U.S. is estimated to be in the tens of millions.

The issue of stray or feral cats and what to do to control their numbers isn't new. The ASPCA endorses Trap-Neuter-Return as a humane and effective method for management.

Leilani Fratis, chief executive officer for the Placer SPCA, said unaltered cats are a concern in Roseville, just as they are nationally.

"I would say it is the number of unaltered outdoor cats from community to free roaming and feral cats that are of concern," Fratis said. "About two-thirds of the animals we take in are cats. Through the month of August that is about 1,600 cats out of 2,600 animals."

A Roseville woman contends that the Placer SPCA is not doing enough to save feral cats and far too many are being unnecessarily euthanized.

Diane Dixon said she believes the Placer SPCA routinely kills "healthy feral cats" and said it is possible that more than 600 were killed last year alone.

"(The numbers) are hearsay at this point," she said. "I want to know all the numbers picked up, killed and adopted."

Fratis said they look for any number of options before euthanizing an animal.

"As a shelter facility our goal is to find a home for these animals," she said. "It's not healthy for a truly feral cat to stay in a shelter."

Fratis said the Placer SPCA, whenever possible, will spay or neuter and release feral cats.

For comparison, the Sacramento area has a live release rate of roughly 47 percent. Fratis said Placer's live release rate is about 77 percent.

Dixon believes more needs to be done.

She has requested documentation from the city of Roseville and the Placer SPCA to support her belief that the nonprofit Placer SPCA is not doing its part to spay, neuter and release healthy feral cats.

"I have called for a full investigation of the Placer SPCA and animal control through the mayor and her office," Dixon said.

She sent an email to Mayor Pauline Roccucci requesting an investigation of the nonprofit Placer SPCA's policies and practices as well as a multitude of documents including all documents pertaining to the number of animals "picked up, processed, killed and adopted in the last five years."

The Placer SPCA is the contract shelter for the city of Roseville.

Dee Dee Gunther, spokeswoman for the Roseville Police Department, said she was aware of the request by Dixon.

"We are providing her with the requested documents," she said.

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Placer County SPCA

Free Spay and Neuter for All Placer County residents:

Call SNAP at (916) 782-7722 ext. 201 or (530) 885-7387 ext. 201 to request your voucher, or complete an online Voucher Application at http://www.placerspca.org/snap.htm#free.