Students hope to shelter campus cats

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Bethany Garcia, American Sign Language freshman, discusses upcoming fundraisers for purchasing cat food and building houses for feral cats at the SAC Community Cats meeting March 6 in the Methodist Student Center. The housing project would provide shelter for the cats during cold weather. The club makes sure the cats on campus are fed and watered. For more information, call 210-486-0397. Photo by Deandra Gonzalez

Club will propose housing for feral felines to college president’s office.

By S.R. Garcia

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

A student club devoted to this college’s feral cats plans to submit a proposal to President Robert Vela for permission to build housing for the felines on campus.

San Antonio College Community Cats discussed the proposal March 6 in the Methodist Student Center.

Counselor and club adviser Melissa Sutherland will be in charge of writing the proposal and submitting it to the president.

“The houses would be inexpensive to build and durable for weather conditions,” said Bethany Garcia, American Sign Language freshman and club president.

The club hopes to modify storage tubs to shelter the cats. Sutherland said the club might also ask this college’s engineering students for ideas.

The eight-member club started in fall 2016 and continues to receive donations of food and money to put toward the feral cats roaming on campus.  

The club focuses on ensuring the cats have food and fresh water, yet safety remains the priority for these furry friends.

“Not only do stray dogs roam the campus from time to time, weather now plays a huge factor as well as the heavy construction in the surrounding areas on campus,” Garcia said.

Garcia has looked into the catch and release program offered at the San Antonio Feral Cats Coalition to perform here on the campus to keep the cats from multiplying.

“We need a total of five people in order to sign up to take the TNR (trap-neuter-return) training class, so volunteers would be highly appreciated,” Garcia said.

The club also discussed items needed for their next fundraiser, which will be 8 a.m.-2 p.m. March 22 in the mall. The club will have a booth selling two tamales for $3 and soft drinks or bottled water for $1. The earnings will help build the houses and buy cat food .

In the future, the club would like to design and create T-shirts spreading awareness of the club and the campus cats. The club plans to ask the art department to come up with a design for the shirts.

The club also encourages students and staff to show support to the San Antonio College Community Cats Facebook page, which contains photos of the cats and information about them.

Students can join the student organization by signing up through OrgSync.

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  1. It is more humane to euthanize feral cats, if they are not suitable for rehoming. Trap neuter release can actually increase the feral cat numbers due to increased dumping, especially on a campus, at the end of term. Dr Peter P Marra’s book Cat Wars reviews the field science and theoretical modelling. Feral cats, even when neutered, continue to predate and spread several infectious diseases to humans and other animals, including other cats. A multi-pronged approach to reducing the supply of feral cats should include banning transient populations like students from keeping cats on campus (reduces dumping at end of term), and strict licensing requirements for cat owners, which includes mandatory microchipping for ID and neutering prior to the first litter, with proof of vaccinations at the time of relicensing. This should not be a volunteer effort, rather better fund a cat catcher, like in the good old days of dog catchers. Not a job for amateurs.

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