By Becca Owsley
The Grayson County Humane Society/SPCA works to help control the cat population in Grayson County through a summer spay and neuter program.
Organizer Donna White said the program began in 2016 and has worked with a variety of veterinarians and organizations through the years.
But, she said, it can get overwhelming, often transporting 30 animals a month in the organization’s van for spays and neuters.
“We think this is important because it is the very best way to prevent homeless or unwanted cats and dogs,” White said. “Even after doing it all these years and seeing groups do it all over the state, it is still a problem.”
Kentucky shelters are not required to take in homeless cats and the cats often are dumped on well-meaning people to take care of them, she said.
“We truly feel compassion for the animals and for the people who want to do the right thing,” White said.
The first time White went to someone’s home to assess their cat situation, the owner came out of the house saying she hoped White wouldn’t show up.
“I think she thought I was like a social worker and was going to take her cats, which she loved dearly, but there were just too many,” White said. “I assured her I didn’t not want to take her cats, I just didn’t want her to end up having 100.”
After White took one for spay and neutering the owner saw it was OK and they became friends, allowing White to help as many as she could. Eventually she even let White place a few kittens with others, which she knew was difficult for her.
“We have met some very sweet, nice people doing this which is an added bonus,” she said. “We would say most are very grateful for the assistance.”
Through the years, White said the organization has helped around 1,200 animals. This includes dogs and cats but she said the majority are felines.
“Rescue was never part of the plan, but sometimes it happens,” she said.
In 2020, they have spayed or neutered 109 animals. White said the numbers are lower than previous years because the program has moved to summer rather than yearly program and COVID-19 has slowed its activity.
Costs vary depending on what service or veterinarian they work with at the time.
Money from the Clyde Patrick Logsdon Estate has allowed the organization to continue its efforts.
They also consult with Save Grayson Cats, Humane Society of Edmonson County and Kentucky Kitty Cats in Ohio County to share ideas, help with filling appointments and transportation.
“When we were contacted about the huge cat colony we are helping now, we made the commitment to do as much as we could to help,” she said.
A friend in Louisville set up a fundraiser on Facebook to raise additional money. The organization also applied for a small grant.
Trap Neuter Release is not always easy, she said.
If someone is interested in helping, they can contact the Grayson County Humane Society/SPCA, which is not associated with the Leitchfield Animal Shelter, on its Facebook page or send an email to email@example.com.
White said donations can be made by PayPal using the firstname.lastname@example.org email address.
If someone needs assistance, they can be put on a waiting list. Appointments at this time are limited.