Help for stray cats in Wyoming

Fort Collins (Colorado) Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic, with funding from Best Friends Animal Society, helps stray cats in rural Wyoming.
By Denise LeBeau

The newscast showed the gravity of the situation. Dozens of cats in a serious state of neglect had overrun a property in rural Wyoming. Most of them — including Tigger, an orange, three-legged senior citizen with medical issues — wouldn’t stand a chance in an overcrowded shelter.

Stray cats in need of help

Many of the cats had been cared for at one time, but now they needed help. Sarah Swanty, executive director of Fort Collins (Colorado) Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic, knew as soon as she saw the TV report that she had to do something.

Tapping into Best Friends’ network of support

Setting traps to safely catch shy cats to be spayed or neuteredThe Fort Collins organization is part of the Best Friends No More Homeless Pets Network, a program that works with rescue organizations and municipal shelters across the country to end the killing of dogs and cats in our nation’s shelters. Being connected with the Network means the rescue group is eligible for support from Best Friends. Sarah contacted Lezlie Sage, Best Friends’ Network specialist for the region, for some much-needed help.

“We always want to support groups who are supporting Best Friends’ mission and the Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic is one of the best,” says Lezlie, who secured $1,000 in emergency funding to pay for spaying or neutering all the cats in the case.

Fort Collins (Colorado) Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic to the rescue

Representatives from the Fort Collins group arrived in Wyoming on a chilly November Sunday, and found 60 cats in need of help. They went right to work, gathering up the friendly cats and setting traps to safely catch the shy ones. “All of the cats have upper respiratory infections and some have other medical conditions that we’ll get addressed,” says Sarah. “Some of the cats are really shy and will need some behavioral work.”

All the cats will be spayed or neutered. The friendly cats will be placed in homes, while the truly feral cats will be allowed to live outdoors — with plenty of food and warm shelter, but away from people, where they’re most comfortable.

A new day for one cat and his friends

Tigger the cat after being neutered at the clinicThere’s one special striped cat who Sarah is especially thrilled about seeing on the road to a new home — Tigger. His life is upside down right now, but hopefully he knows things will only get better. Sarah says, “I'm really hoping that someone will scoop up Tigger soon.” In the meantime, he’s being doted on by people at the Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic.

“They say it takes a village, and in this case it is certainly true,” Sarah says. “I knew we couldn't do this on our own, and I am so grateful to our supporters, the groups who stepped up to help and Best Friends.”

As a result, dozens of cats are having a much happier and healthier holiday season.

Be a part of the good news by becoming a Best Friends member. You'll be helping our No More Homeless Pets Network partners, too.

Photos courtesy of Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic

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