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TNR support group to hold first meeting

March 25, 2014
By CHUCK?BALLARO ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

It can be tough caring for a colony of feral cats, and even tougher to trap them so they can be neutered or spayed and sent back to the wild.

That's why Kit Bracher decided there needs to be a group that supports the people who handle this chore.

Cat Guardians will hold its first meeting at the North Fort Myers Library on April 1 at noon.

Cat Guardians is a new rescue group devoted to educating those who don't know about the Lee County TNR (trap, neuter, return) program and offering support for those who use it to help control the pet population.

There are more than 50 million feral cats living in colonies nationwide, according to the Humane Society, with a handful of advocates trying to reduce the population.

PAWS in North Fort Myers offers a similar program at very low cost.

"We want to educate people and send them in the right direction of where they need to go if they want to participate," Bracher said.

Bracher said she and her husband got the idea of starting the group last September after a neighbor left a couple of cats behind. Before long, other feral cats started showing up in her yard, which didn't make some of her neighbors too happy.

"That's when we learned that Lee County Animal Services does TNR at no cost. So throughout the last year, we've rescued about 10 cats," Bracher said.

Bracher said she has been in contact with several national organizations such as Alley Cat Allies out of New York to garner support.

The group will make Cat Guardians part of its database starting April 1, and in October will declare National Feral Cat Day, in which Bracher said she hopes to build support from local businesses and veterinarians.

Space is limited to 40 people, but Bracher said if there are more she would "hold the meeting in the parking lot if she had to."

The library is at 2001 N Tamiami Trail.

For more information, contact Bracher at 940-444-1434.



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