The Ville de Gatineau announced today the launch of a pilot project for the Capture, Sterilization, Release and Maintenance (CSRM) program for stray cats, under the full oversight of the SPCA de l'Outaouais. The City has also confirmed that it will amend its current by-law regarding the care, control and handling of animals on its territory, making the project possible.
The CSRM program includes:
- Identification and census of stray cat colonies;
- Capture of stray cats by the volunteer association, under the direction of the SPCA de l'Outaouais;
- Sterilization by a veterinarian from the SPCA de l'Outaouais, as well as the administration of vaccines and deworming, the insertion of a microchip and the trimming of the tip of the left ear, an international standard for identifying sterilized cats;
- The release of the animal to its colony, when deemed fit to return to its environment by the SPCA de l'Outaouais veterinarian;
- The maintenance of the conditions, with the collaboration of the volunteer association which will actively monitor the cats of its community.
"The cats targeted by this CSRM program do not adapt well in shelters and the popularity of 'barn' cats is not high in the region," explains Maxime Daigle, Executive Director of the SPCA de l'Outaouais.
"Furthermore, the public nuisance associated with stray cats can generally be greatly mitigated by sterilization, which reduces urine marking, vocalization, fighting and breeding that leads to overpopulation. This type of CSRM program is a proven and effective long-term humane alternative for managing cat populations. "
For the first year of the program, the SPCA de l'Outaouais aims to sterilize 30 to 50 feral cats in the targeted area – Lambert Street in the Hull sector – and will assume the entire cost.
"Gatineau has a large number of feral cats that can reproduce quickly. The pilot project of the Capture, Sterilization, Release and Maintenance program will be an effective way to reduce this overpopulation. It is important to encourage an approach that also responds to a growing public awareness of animal welfare," said Councillor Cedric Tessier, District of Hull-Wright.
The SPCA de l'Outaouais team is pleased to count on the support of the City of Gatineau in the implementation of this pilot project this spring.