Humane Society's Trap, Neuter and Release program expands to Sandusky

SANDUSKY Two years ago, one of Frankie Hall's neighbors died. The neighbor loved cats
May 24, 2010



Two years ago, one of Frankie Hall's neighbors died.

The neighbor loved cats. He owned 30 or 40. He fed them and cared for them.

After the neighbor's death his wife sold the property, and the cats migrated to Hall's house.

The animals sought shelter under Hall's raised wooden shed, so she began feeding them every morning and evening, all the while worrying about their feline future.

"I love animals. I would never mistreat them," said Hall, 74. "But there were so many. I wondered if I could afford to take care of them all.

"You just think about it. If you have just three or four cats and they start having kittens, you're going to have a big community started there soon," She said. "That's what I was dealing with. And I couldn't afford to have them all neutered and spayed."

That's where Trap, Neuter and Release came in.

The program, run by the Humane Society of Erie County, offered to trap and neuter the feral cats to keep them from multiplying.

Hall praised their work, especially that of Jo Walls, who runs the program.

Walls also owns Home Sweet Home, a Castalia-based pet-sitting company.

"If I called that I found a cat in the trap, she would be right out here," Hall said. "I'm just really glad they have this program, and that they're so good at it."

Trap, Neuter and Release, which operates in Margaretta Township and Vermilion, will expand its program in 2010 to Sandusky. The city commission voted 5-0 in support of the project.

Amy Porter, director of the Humane Society of Erie County, said the program will be funded entirely through donations. Residents can donate by contacting the Humane Society.

"Our goal would be to do all of Erie County in a perfect world," Porter said.

Walls said the traps and surgery follow strict guidelines to prevent animals from feeling any pain. They're called box traps, and they shut behind the feral cat as it enters, trapping it in the contraption.

Walls and Porter said there are hundreds of feral cats throughout Sandusky, and this program will go a long way toward mitigating the problem.

"It's been great for us," Hall said. "I'm glad it's there for us to use, and they're sticking with it."