Collier County organization helps people feed community cats

Reporter: Tiffany Rizzo Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
For the Love of Cats
For the Love of Cats food drive. (Credit: WINK News)

A Southwest Florida community is playing a major role in feeding thousands of community cats that are living on the street.

There are an estimated 50,000 cats without a home in Collier County.

Since the pandemic, the organization For the Love of Cats has noticed more and more people coming together to feed the feral cats in Collier County.

With prices rising, some of the people feeding the strays were not able to afford the food to keep feeding the cats.

“I talked to people who are waiting for their social security check for riders so that they go buy cat food to feed their cats in their backyard. So it means a lot to them to be able to care for these animals because there’s no one else out there to do it. So they’re, just they’re heroes in my book,” said Jan Rich, president and founder of For the Love of Cats.

For the Love of Cats decided to help. They hosted a food drive and collected 6,500 pounds of food to give out.

Food donated by the community to help feed feral cats in Collier County. Credit: WINK News)

READ MORE: Community comes together to provide food to feral cats in Collier County

To keep the number of feral cats in Collier County under control, the organization is asking those feeding the cats to trap neuter and return the cats, Also known as TNR.

Collier County Domestic Animal Services has a program to cover the cost of spaying and neutering feral cats, giving them their vaccinations and a microchip.

While it is important to keep the population of feral cats under control, For the Love of Cats says its actually a good thing to have them in your neighborhood.

“You really have a nice group of community citizens because they keep the rats away. They keep the snakes away. The main cats in the area, they don’t even have to catch the rats, they just have to be there because the rats pick up on the scent of the cats, and they’re packing their bags and moving to another neighborhood,” said Rich.

If you are feeding your community cat and struggling to get by, For the Love of Cats has provided 300 pounds of food to Collier County Domestic Animal Services to distribute.

The organization says the collected food will last about three or four months. They said they plan on doing another food drive once the supply runs low again.

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