Councilman secured $2,500 donation to launch program
Niagara Falls City Councilman Kenny Tompkins announced he has been working with the SPCA of Niagara to help bring its Orange Cat Campaign to Niagara Falls to provide a humane option to reduce the feral cat population in the city. The resolution to support this measure will be voted on at tonight's City Council meeting.
To launch the program, Tompkins announced he was able to secure $2,500 from private donors.
SPCA of Niagara Executive Director Amy Lewis said, "We're excited to begin implementing the Orange Cat Campaign in the City of Niagara Falls. The campaign began in the Village of Lewiston last year as a means to reduce their community cat population by way of spaying/neutering. If endorsed by the Niagara Falls City Council, the SPCA will go to work, approaching businesses in the city to help raise funding for the program by selling orange paper cats for $1."
Money raised from this campaign will go toward trap-neuter-release (TNR) practices that have shown to be effective in other cities with growing populations of free-roaming cats.
Last fall, it was estimated there are 60,000 feral cats within the city limits.
"There was a resolution for an ordinance put forth earlier in the year to address this issue that created quite a stir with animal lovers and was subsequently tabled," Tompkins said. "Some aspects of that ordinance were viewed as not providing humane treatment for these cats. I was able to work with Ms. Lewis and SPCA of Niagara board member Jennifer Pitaressi, who shared this program with me and asked if we might support it. This is an extremely positive solution that I believe everyone can get behind. I am honored to be able to bring this to the council."
"The city has needed a program like Orange Cat to help get its feline population under control for a while now," Lewis said. "We're elated that Councilman Tompkins saw the value in the Orange Cat Campaign and agreed to bring it before the council. If approved, this will be a really progressive move by city officials.
"The city's cats aren't going anywhere, so it makes sense to embrace them. The SPCA hopes to work with volunteer trappers to begin the Orange Cat Campaign this summer."