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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

What should Ketchikan do about ‘feral’ cats?

By Kim Whalen


February 07, 2015
Saturday AM

This has been written in response to recent Borough Assembly and Animal Control discussions regarding solutions for ‘feral’ cats in our community.

What should Ketchikan do about ‘feral’ cats? Ketchikan Humane Society (KHS) is already doing it!

KHS is dedicated to ending the euthanasia of cats by animal control and promoting humane methods of care for outdoor cats. Tamed and untamed colonies of outdoor cats with reliable care-givers already have a home - outdoors! Untamed adult cats are not adoptable and once they have been taken into a shelter they are euthanized. Kittens of untamed cats have a very small window for socialization before they, too become unadoptable. We believe the majority of stray cats can live quality lives in their current outdoor environments and we are already working to help control their populations by offering free spay and neuter services to outdoor cats that are trapped by care-givers. KHS started offering this service two years ago and has been able to spay and neuter 50 – 100 animals during each of the past two years. We believe this is a sustainable and humane way to deal with our stray cat population. We do not think outdoor cats should be trapped and killed or trapped and relocated. Research has shown that in each of these scenarios the surviving outdoor cats will increase their breeding efforts in order to fill the void created by the kills or relocations. KHS believes that education and awareness and ongoing support of our free spay/neuter services for these animals is the best long-term solution for our community.

For more information about Ketchikan Humane Society please visit our website at or our visit us on Facebook.

For more information on outdoor cats visit


Kim Whalen
Ketchikan Humane Society
Ketchikan, Alaska


Received February 06, 2015 - Published February 07, 2015


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