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Taber council looks at ways to deal with stray/feral cats

Posted on November 16, 2022 by Taber Times

By Kenyon Stronski
Taber Times

The Last Chance Cat Ranch out of Lethbridge and the Taber Police Service have both requested discussion regarding the stray and feral cats in Taber at their Nov. 14 regular meeting of council. According to the agenda, the Last Chance Cat Ranch has said their records indicate a growing number of feral cats being taken in from the Town of Taber and they have received a growing number of concerns with regard to feral cats in general from Taber residents. The TPS has confirmed these complaints, and it was noted in the past there has been $15,000 allocated to veterinary and feral cat programs however it was discontinued in 2021.

CAO Derrin Thibault stepped forward to comment on the subject.

“I’ll speak to this one, so there was a request that came in from the Last Chance Cat Ranch a while ago and it didn’t ever materialize and come in front of council because there had been some sickness with the individual. It’s been deferred for so long that I wanted to bring it forward and it was also brought up by Chief (Graham) Abela was looking into it, it looks like there was $15,000 allocated to a feral cat program in years past. I’m aware of a program that doesn’t have to bring a bylaw back into effect and it’s an external contractor that has the ability to come in.”

Thibault explained how in his previous job they utilized an outfit out of Calgary that would come in, herd the cats, spay and neuter them, and set them off into the wild once again.

“I know that Chief Abela was consistent in the messaging that there seems to be a lot more feral cats around — the Last Chance Cat Ranch has also indicated there’s been an increase and an increased cost of looking after the cat population. This is a request that looks like back to the future and they’re asking if council has any appetite to add this to the operational budget.”

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