GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - You may remember last week, when we told you about a new coalition that's formed to try and help cats living on the streets of Grand Junction. News Channel Five followed the entire spay and neuter event over the weekend, and had the chance to see the consequences for cats without a home.
Over 100 volunteers helped the Grand Valley Cat Coalition (GVCC) trap cats, and one of them was Marie Ramstetter, the manager of the Loma Cat House. She believes every cat trapped and fixed makes a difference, for both the health of the animal and the overall cat population. "One cat can turn into a million cats," said Ramstetter. In total, GVCC completed 134 surgeries over the weekend.
All of those cats can be a huge issue for agencies working to take care of them, especially when they continue to reproduce. "Kitten season is a big drain on resources for shelters and animal welfare groups in this community," said Anna Stout, the advisory committee co-chair for GVCC.
Ramstetter has witnessed the harsh realities of what can happen to cats living on the streets. "We've got one cat that was tortured and her eyes were poked out, and we still have her, she's totally blind of course," said Ramstetter, talking about her adopted cat Sapphire.
Ramstetter also takes care of another cat, that's in quite bad condition, and may be living her final days in Ramstetter's home. "She's minus her ear, and part of her skull," said Ramstetter. The vet told Ramstetter the ear must heal first before working on the cat, but Ramstetter thinks the cat is on it's last leg. "She was kind of perky at first, but she's going downhill. And she's obviously very old too, and she's been out there all by herself all these years. And I think she's just finally warm and I think she's going to give it up. It really hurts," said Ramstetter.
The reason Ramstetter keeps fighting for the cats is because of the sadness she's seen. This past weekend showed progress for the GVCC, demonstrating to those involved they can actually make a difference. "We think that in our target area, at least 2 of the colonies or hot spots that we had identified, we now consider 100% controlled," said Stout.
The improvements from the weekend mean the world to both Ramstetter and Stout, whom said the street cats are now healthier and some have a better chance of finding a home. "You just keep feeling like this is one way you can make a difference in the world. It's a pretty big world, I can't cover the whole thing, so I just take this little area and hope that I can improve it," said Ramstetter.
If you're interested in helping GVCC trap and fix cats, call (970)261-3760, and they can get you set up with a trap and guide you through how to do it properly. They will then help figure out what veterinarian will fix the cat, before either returning it to the same area or putting it up for adoption.
For more information on GVCC, visit our article from last week.