Weston Friends of Ferals and Strays, has spayed/neutered 48 cats, and is planning to have 35 more done in March.
Weston Friends of Ferals and Strays, is a local trap, neuter/spay, release program for the Weston community cat population, started by Jill and Mark Brogan.
The goal of the Brogan’s, is to help the overpopulation of community cats in Weston.
They do not take cats to the “pound”.
TNR programs, are a cost-effective, humane solution to the growing cat problem in Weston and many other cities.
The purpose of Friends of Ferals and Strays is to “fix” the homeless cat, and either return the cat to the location found or relocate them to a long term home.
Friends of Ferals pay for the surgery, the first round of rabies shots and the ear tip.
Ear tipping of the left ear is the universal sign that a cat has been spayed/neutered.
If the area the feline came from is not safe, the couple relocated the cat to barn home or farm, where they can stay safely.
The Brogans started this program because the City of Weston, last summer, began trapping cats and taking them to the Lewis Upshur Animal Control Facility (LUAC). LUAC is a high kill shelter, especially for cats.
The Brogans thought there has to be a better, more humane way to deal with the rising population of stray cats in Weston.
Since Labor Day, the Brogans have spayed and neutered 48 cats and will be taking 35 cats to the veterinarian in March to fix those as well.
Weston Ford, has recently donated the use of one of their large vans, for transporting the cats, when they are to be fixed in March.
Currently there is a colony of cats behind the Ex Chem and Shentel building, these 15 cats, will be taken to be fixed all at one time and released back to that area, because they already have a caretaker, who feeds and watches over them.
There are donation cans at Giovanni’s, The Liquor Store, Foster Feed, Ex Chem, Rastle’s Auto Parts and Deb’s Diner, if you would like to make a donation.
The Brogans are planning to have a silent auction and a yard sale to raise money for the medical care for the cat in the future.
Currently, the Brogans have 16 foster cats. They are needing barn homes and adopting families for some of the cats in the future.
If you adopt one of the foster cats, a background check will be performed along with a home visit and reference checks.
Jill Brogan said there is a common misconception about just needing to get the female cats fixed, which is not true. Brogan said you have to fix both the male and female cats, because the male cats, when ready to mate, will roam from neighborhood to neighborhood to find a female in heat.
Dave and Agnes Wilson have been instrumental in building shelters/warming stations for stray cats.
There are free cat shelters, for strays located at The Liquor Store in Weston.
If you would like to pay for a cat to get spayed/neutered and do not have a way to get the feline to the vet, you can call the vet and let the Brogans know and they will get the cat to the appointment for you.
Jill said that one of the reasons that cats can gather at a certain home is due to cleaning products someone may be using outside. Cleaning with ammonia attracts cats, because it gives off the same smell as urine.
Mark Brogan said that if you want cats to stay out of your mulch, add some orange peelings to it, because cats do not like the citrus smell.
“This program, takes some of the pressure off the pound,” said Jill.
Jill said that if the cats in the neighborhoods are killed, then the rat population will increase, which will lead to other epidemics.
“You’ve got to stop the breeding and it will fix the situation,” said Jill.
Brogan said that the typical life span of a street cat is between five and eight years.
“This slows the population, but it isn’t an overnight fix,” said Brogan.
As cats are rescued, Jill, posts the cats to Facebook and stays in contact with LUAC, to see if anyone is searching for any cats that the couple has found.
Currently the Brogans are working to get their non-profit status established, so they can apply for grants, in the mean time there are ways you can donate to the TNR program.
There is a Citizen’s Bank Account called Friends of Ferals, Pay Pal account under the email firstname.lastname@example.org, donate in one of the cans around town or stop by the Liquor Store.
For any questions contact Jill or Mark at 304-269-7607 or 304-269-5949.