Volunteer Christy Moschopedis (pictured) and Jill Robertson have caught 59 cats from a feral cat colony on one cul-de-sac in Chilliwack. The cats are then neutered and either adopted out or, if too wild, returned to the spot. (Darren McDonald photo)

VIDEO: Nearly 60 feral cats caught in one B.C. neighbourhood

Two volunteers caught and neutered 59 cats from one Chilliwack cul-de-sac with more still to catch

Just about every day these days Christy Moschopedis and Jill Robertson head out to check traps on a quiet Chilliwack cul-de-sac to see if they’ve caught another cat.

The two volunteers caught feline number 59 on Thursday in what is an out-of-control feral cat colony on this sleepy street.

“This population just exploded over the last two summers,” Moschopedis said. “It was a really, really bad kitten season. So many kittens and not enough organizations to be able to take care of them.”

Moschopedis and Robertson don’t work for the BC SPCA or even one of those organizations she’s talking about, they just love animals and are doing their part in the seemingly never-ending battle against the feral cat population.

(Scroll to bottom for more photos.)

They are following the policy known as TNR: that stands for trap, neuter, return. They humanely capture the cats in cages from this neighbourhood. The local branch of the SPCA is paying for them to be neutered, and Cheam View Veterinary Hospital is giving a good deal on the neutering. And then if the cats are truly too wild to be adopted, they are returned to the cul-de-sac, others are adopted or are in foster homes awaiting adoption.

By Nov. 29, of the 59 cats they had caught, 21 had to be returned and 42 have the chance of being pets. (The numbers don’t add up because one cat was pregnant.)

Some of those waiting adoption are at Heart and Soul Dog and Cat Rescue Society in Abbotsford, some at Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA), some at Cat Therapy and Rescue Society. Moschopedis herself has adopted one kitten, and its two siblings are at Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven.

And while Moschopedis and Robertson are doing this on their own, just because they can, there is also ABC Cat Rescue and Adoptions in Chilliwack that does similar work.

So is this feral cat colony on this one small cul-de-sac unique? Not by a long shot.

“There are so many properties around the area like this,” Moschopedis said. “I have friends that work on dairy farms and the farmers are taking care of feral colonies on their own dime.”

According to the BC SPCA, since female cats can breed three times a year and have an average of four kittens per litter. That means in just seven years, one unspayed female cat and her offspring could theoretically produce 420,000 kittens.

• RELATED: Okanagan feral kittens rescued from “certain death” now in foster care

• RELATED: 111 cats surrendered by one person to BC SPCA

Chilliwack BC SPCA branch manager Chloé MacBeth says feral cat colonies are a huge problem in Chilliwack, for the SPCA but also for neighbourhoods, the environment, and of course the cats themselves.

“Feral cat colonies have a huge impact on our shelter because every year we have a kitten season or two – we have two kitten seasons right now – where we have tons of kittens being born,” MacBeth said in an interview at the branch on Hopedale Road. “Orphaned kittens, kittens and moms that we have to bring into the sheltering system…. Our fostering homes are overwhelmed.”

MacBeth said the BC SPCA is looking for data so they can find out just how many colonies are out there, and how many cats they are looking at.

“Anybody who knows of a feral cat colony should contact the branch either through Facebook or email and let us know where the colony is and roughly how many cats are involved and generally what the health status is, and if they have a caretaker involved that is already taking care of them.”

As for Moschopedis and Robertson, they’ll continue to check the traps at the site in question in Chilliwack, although there are fewer and fewer to be found. Those truly feral cats that are returned have had one ear clipped – something that doesn’t hurt them – by the veterinarian so volunteers know the cats have been neutered.

“It’s insane how quickly they can overpopulate an area,” Moschopedis said.

How did this particular cat colony get so out of control? No one is certain, but a property owner told her somebody dumped an animal and she couldn’t find anyone to help out.

“There area always options, you don’t have to dump your cat. They’re not disposable.”


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Volunteer Christy Moschopedis preparing a cat trap in a Chilliwack neighbourhood home to a large feral cat colony. (Darren McDonald photo)

Christy Moschopedis being bitten by a feral cat through a motorcycle glove at a colony in Chilliwack. (Darren McDonald photo)

A feral kitten in a cage read to be brought to a vet to be neutered. (Darren McDonald photo)

A feral kitten in a cage ready to be brought to a vet to be neutered. (Darren McDonald photo)

Volunteer Christy Moschopedis (pictured) and Jill Robertson have caught 59 cats from a feral cat colony on one cul-de-sac in Chilliwack. The cats are then neutered and either adopted out or, if too wild, returned to the spot. (Darren McDonald photo)

A feral kitten in a cage ready to be brought to a vet to be neutered. (Darren McDonald photo)

A feral cat in a cage ready to be brought to a vet to be neutered. (Darren McDonald photo)

Volunteer Christy Moschopedis and her son Callum preparing a cat trap in a Chilliwack neighbourhood home to a large feral cat colony. (Darren McDonald photo)

Just Posted

The Turkey Head Walkway. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay community sees untapped potential in Turkey Head

Part 3 of a closer look at Oak Bay Marina and Turkey Head

A small number of the masks available at Disguise the Limit. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
West Shore costume expert showcases pandemic-safe Halloween looks

Maureen Cue models the best masked Halloween costumes

Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
WorkSafe BC investigating man’s death during Oak Bay tree removal

Man was working for contracted tree removal company when incident occurred

A notice on the door of the Starbucks at 3849 Cadboro Bay Rd. says it closes permanently on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Google Maps)
Cadboro Bay Starbucks location to close permanently after 16 years

Residents association seeks reason for closure set for Oct. 25

Lookout Lake water levels are low as the dam undergoes upgrades. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Colwood dam upgrades projected to be under budget

Province designates Lookout Brook as a high consequence dam should it fail

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Michael Leighton, who is wanted on 11 warrants on Vancouver Island and is a suspect in a recent break, enter and theft in Nanaimo. (Photos submitted)
RCMP looking for break-and-enter suspect with 11 warrants on the Island

Nanaimo RCMP say Michael Leighton a suspect in theft of pistol and $40,000 worth of coins

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

Most Read