Marshfield officials target cat overpopulation
For the Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield officials are targeting the overpopulation of cats. With two members absent, the common council voted 7-to-1 on May 25 in favor of a trap, neuter, and return program.
Vet Tech Kaitlin Loberg from the Marshfield Area Pet Shelter told the council the goal is to trap as many feral cats as possible, get them fixed, and then return them to where they came from. Initially, Loberg said MAPS would start with the feral and stray cats that are brought in to their facility.
Loberg said any stray or feral cats getting fixed through the program would also have their left ears tipped, so city officials can keep track of which at-large cats have been fixed and which ones have not. The council voted to authorize the trap, neuter, and return program for one year, on a trial basis.
Also last night, Marshfield aldermen approved a new agreement with MAPS to continue providing services related to impounded animals. The contract does come with higher fees. For stray cats, the cost to the city would go from $7 a day to $13, with a maximum of $52 for up to four days, versus the current maximum of $49 for up to seven days.
For dogs, the fees would increase from $13 to $23 a day, with a maximum of $92 for a four-day hold, versus the current maximum of $91 for a seven-day hold. MAPS Director Karen Rau said the level of care the animals are getting and the services provided by her staff have already increased, but the fees to cover those expenses have not.
Rau also noted every animal gets a free microchip if it does not already have one.
If the animals are returned to their owners, Ordinance Officer Bob Larsen said those fees are paid back to the city.
The new agreement was approved on a vote of 5-to-3. Aldermen Adam Fischer, Ed Wagner, and Tom Witzel voted “no.”