County Humane Society
focusing on cat problem
Grange has an overpopulation of wild cats
Helen E. McKinney
(May 2007) Controlling the stray cat population
in La Grange, Ky., has been no easy task for the Oldham County Humane
Society. Forty to 50 volunteers keep the organization on its feet while
educating the public about their services.
Were all animal lovers, said Joni Boon, president
of an eight-member board that oversees the society. Our goal is
to help the animals and the people who love them.
The society began in January 2005. It also serves surrounding counties
but focus on Oldham County and its feral (wild) cat problem.
These cats tend to live in large colonies, said Boon. Gail Stevenson
oversees the societys Feral Fix program. Stevenson said these
animals are terrified of humans and have never been treated right.
Teresa Gregory (left) of the
Crestwood Veternary Clinic and an assistant examine a feral cat.
Gregory does spaying
and neutering for the society.
Stevenson and other volunteers set live traps for feral
cats and kittens, spay and neuter them, and administer a three-year
rabies shot. Non-feral cats are then taken to a volunteer family, which
can provide them with food, water and shelter until they are adopted.
In addition to seeing to the cats basic needs, volunteers work
with the animals to build their socialization skills, if possible, before
a permanent home is found for them. If the cats cannot be socialized,
they are returned to the spot where they were captured and released
back into the colony. This method reduces the colony size naturally
because the cats are unable to reproduce.
The society only takes in animals that are in drastic situations, such
as the case of a mother cat that was living in a storm sewer, said Stevenson.
After a heavy rain, her babies were washed away and she was captured
and cared for.
Our main goal is to control the unwanted pet population in Oldham
County, said Stevenson. The society wants pet owners to see that
having their pets spayed and neutered is the right thing to do,
The society offers a low-cost spay and neutering clinic on the first
Saturday of every month. A designated area of the former Cherry House
building on South Hwy. 53 in La Grange is used for the clinic, since
the society does not have a permanent facility. These clinics are for
individuals who cannot afford a veterinary service, said Boon.
Every bit of money that comes in is spent on the animals,
said Boon. Board members spend their own money as well to keep the society
going. In the past, the Crestwood City Council has approved money for
The majority of our costs are for our program services,
said Michelle Culp, treasurer. The society has received some funding
from the McClain Foundation, the Kentucky Department of Agricultures
Spay and Neuter Program, and a matching fund grant from Wal-Mart. The
society relies on many fundraisers throughout the year to help meet
In addition to volunteering with the society, Culp and her husband also
run a non-profit organization, Wingspan of Kentucky. They rehabilitate
wild birds and provide educational programs about the birds. The two
organizations go hand-in-hand for her.
The humane society is part of what Ive been interested in
my entire life, said Culp. Through previously volunteering with
the Animal Care Society, Culp became acquainted with society volunteers
and was asked to join the board.
We try to gear as much money as we can toward helping the animals
or people, she said. More than 1,500 animals have been spayed
and neutered by the society on a one-time basis for individuals who
could not afford a vet.
The society also spays and neuters animals from Oldham County Animal
Control, a completely separate organization. It is not affiliated with
the Kentucky Humane Society.
Society members hope to create an educational program that can be used
in the Oldham County school system. Culp said she hopes the society
will continue to grow with the addition of new members and much needed
To become a member or for more information,
contact Joni Boon at (502) 222-0690, (502) 222-7537 or visit: www.humanesocietyoldhamcounty.com.
Pets must be pre-registered for clinics, no walk-ins are taken. Upcoming
Events are May 5, Male Cat Neuter Day; June 2, Spay & Neuter Clinic;
June 2-3, Arts on the Green and featuring the art work of Erika Perry.
Back to May 2007 Articles.