FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – How nearly two-dozen feral cats disappeared from Trinity Park without a trace remains a mystery, and the volunteers who fed them daily hope to hire a pet detective to figure it out.
At a fundraiser at 7th Haven Saturday, dozens of cat lovers donated money for the cause.
The group is offering $2,000 in reward money for any information on the disappearance of the cats.
The cat colony was well known to Trinity Park regulars and, of course, the volunteers who cared for them.
“They were all spayed or neutered, with rabies shots. They were fed daily and if anyone of them became ill we took them out of there and we took them to a vet,” said Bev Sims, a volunteer who has cared of the feral cats for more than a decade.
But weeks ago, the close to two dozens cats all but vanished.
“We believe they were killed. This happened to coincide with a TNR program, which is trap, neuter, release, that the city is looking into passing,” said Charlsye Lewis, the chair of the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee of Fort Worth.
As part of a TNR program, cats would remain in the wild after being neutered and given rabies shots, instead of being sheltered and then euthanized at a local shelter.
Though volunteers like Sims have been practicing trap, neuter, release on their own, they are pushing for the city to pass a TNR ordinance so it can practice it systematically across the city.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says TNR programs are the only proven and effective to manage feral cat colonies.
“The number of cats that die in a shelter will do down dramatically with a program like this,” Lewis said.
Sims and other suspect foul play because, along with dozens of cats, several makeshift cat shelters were stolen.
“We know it’s foul play. The cats disappeared almost overnight. No trace and we are determined not to let this drop,” Sims said.