Community comes together to provide food to feral cats in Collier County

Reporter: Jennifer Morejon
Collier County is seeing an increase in its feral cat population. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Collier County is facing a cat overload.

There are about 50,000 feral cats roaming the area, according to the chairman of the Collier County Domestic Animal Services Advisory Board.

Collier County Domestic Animal Services has seen an increase in cat population and intake at the shelter.

Jim and Jan Rich, founders for the Love of Cats, said that’s where community feeders play a crucial role.

“We have so many transients coming through, they just abandon them. These are cats that don’t know how to survive on their own so they starve to death or someone picks them up and brings them to the county,” said Jim, who is also chairman of the Advisory Board for Collier County Domestic Animal Services.

“Some people are out there feeding sometimes 30, 40, 50, cats every night, seven days a week, all year round,” Jan said. “That’s a lot and it’s a huge commitment. These people are really the unsung heroes in the county to the cat community.”

And they now face another problem.

“With inflation, cost of food today, these people are really struggling to make ends meet and let alone feed the cats,” Jim said.

Cat food prices have doubled.

“We all pulled together as a united front and was able to provide this for the first time ever in collier county,” said Marcy Perry, Collier County Domestic Animal Services Director.

The result is over 264 bags for about 50 community feeders. Each who will provide food to over a thousand cats throughout the county.

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