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Operation Catnip Helps Curb Stray Population

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A stray kitten atop the tire of a school bus
KNIGHTDALE — You may have noticed them behind shoppingcenters, schools and restaurants. Stray cats create a moral and healthconcern and they are multiplying rapidly. One group is trying to savetheir lives with the help of some local animal lovers.

Chuck Ward never expected to become a parent to more than a dozenstray cats, but when the felines made their home behind his hardware storehe says he didn't have a choice.

Animal control workers suggested that Ward catch the cats and bringthem in to be put to sleep but animal lover that he is, he didn't have theheart to do it.

So, he found a way to keep them alive. Second Chance Pet Adoptions hasa program called Operation Catnip. They spay, neuter and give rabiesvaccinations to stray animals.

Operation Catnip Director Julie Levy hopes that instead of euthanizing thecats, or simply ignoring the problem all together, the cats can live outtheir lives, without further contributing to the problem of petoverpopulation.

Operation Catnip spayed, neutered and vaccinated 1,300 wild cats in1996 and 1997 with the help of people like Ward.

Ward also feeds his strays with the help of his customers whobring in food for the cats. If you have strays in your area that you wouldlike to help get neutered and vaccinated you can call Second Chance at676-3770.

andKerrie Hudzinski

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