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Cornelius News

Lucky Cat program: How to manage community cats


Robin Salzman, the co-owner of Lake Norman Chrysler Jeep Dodge with her husband Jack, will match donations made to the Lake Norman Lucky Cat Program during the month of December.

The Lucky Cat Program is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to improving the welfare of community cats—often called feral cats—primarily by facilitating Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage and low-cost spay/neuter services.

Community cats are, well, part of the community. Colonies of them are often found near apartment complexes. Indeed, stray and feral cats are “hiding in plain sight,” said Robin Byrd, executive director of Lucky Cat, an official 501(c)3

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Some make their homes near Dumpsters at apartment complexes, a common source of community cats because owners sometimes move away without their cats. They’re soon on their own, although some communities are supported by friendly volunteers who provide them with food each day.

Without a spay-neuter program, their population can explode, said Byrd, an Island Forest resident. Worse, at least 80 percent of cats that are taken to shelters do not come out alive. Virtually all feral cats that are taken to shelters are euthanized.

Abigail Jennings, the president of Lake Norman Realty and the founder of Lucky Cat, said the organization has conducted more than 400 spay/neuters this year.

The organization maintains a bank of about four dozen traps so that community cats can be trapped and spayed or neutered.

The clinics occur on the first Monday of the month in Cornelius and on the third Monday in Statesville.

“We chose to focus at the root of the problem…let’s keep them from being born,” Jennings said.