OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Right now, an organization in Ocean Springs is claiming success in helping control the feral cat population in the city.
The city of Ocean Springs has had a history with a growing population of wild felines. "The population is out of control. 2000 feral cats in the city, not in one place but just spread all over," said Linda Cox who started the Feral Feline Coalition about two years ago.
Cox said it all started after she found a large colony of cats in the city. Some of those cats were in poor shape, so she and a few others nursed them back to health and started adopting them out.
"We started trapping all the cats that were left. We spayed, neutered whatever was there. Mostly female, since they tend to live together like family groups," said Cox.
According to Cox, the efforts have been supported by helpful city leaders. Working hand in hand with those making decisions in the city, Cox said the coalition has spayed and neutered more than 140 cats, so far.
It's not just the city officials helping the process along. "The businesses along Washington Avenue here are so supportive of these animals," said Cox.
One of the businesses that's helped control the population of cats downtown is the Candy Cottage. Rose Vasquez with Candy Cottage is one of the business leaders in the area who helped start the trap and release program.
According to Vosquez, the number of cats in the area has drastically declined recently. "When I came here, there were about 30 something of them, and now we're down to about four or five," she said.
Cox and her non-profit take care of the few cats that don't get adopted and she said the felines even help keep the pest population at a minimum.
She says it's just her way of making a difference in the community. "Like Mother Teresa said, I can't do great things all the time but I can do small things with great love," said Cox.
According to Cox, the Feral Feline Coalition relies solely on donations from the community to maintain its efforts.