BEND, Ore. - The Central Oregon Cat Alliance, a newly formed coalition of local animal welfare groups, announced Monday it will hold its first high-volume sterilization clinic for Deschutes County feral cats on Sunday, Oct. 13 at the Bend Spay and Neuter Project.
The Central Oregon Cat Alliance, or COCA, is a partnership between the Humane Society of Central Oregon, BrightSide Animal Center, Bend Veterinary Clinic and Bend Spay and Neuter Project.
The group's mission is to significantly reduce the number of stray and feral cats in Deschutes County through providing targeted, high-volume sterilization clinics.
It is estimated that 10,700 feral cats are currently living in Deschutes County; COCA hopes to provide 40-60 sterilization surgeries at each clinic.
Currently, two additional clinics are scheduled in February and March of 2014, with additional clinics to be scheduled as funding is available.
Volunteers will receive training from Bend Spay and Neuter Project prior to trapping cats in targeted neighborhoods on Oct. 12.
All cats will be provided with a rabies vaccination, de-wormed and will be eartipped; the practice of removing the tip of the left ear while the cat is under anesthesia to show that it has been fixed.
High-volume sterilization is the most humane and effective method to control feral and stray cat populations, the alliance said. It has been proven successful in communities across the country to reduce the number of cats entering local shelters and stabilize feral cat populations.
COCA also will be holding a Town Hall Meeting on Nov. 9 from 10 am to noon at The Humane Society of Central Oregon.
"We encourage anyone interested in discussing this issue further or hearing more information about the practice of trap, neuter, return to attend this meeting," the announcement said.
COCA is the first ever collaboration of its kind in Central Oregon. The group hopes to use this effort as a springboard for future efforts and to attract the attention of national organizations such as PetSmart Charities and the ASPCA for additional funding to help local cats and dogs in need.
To volunteer, or if you need assistance with feral or stray cats in your neighborhood please visit www.coca2020.org or call Bend Spay and Neuter Project at 541-617-1010.