Most people pay scant attention to stray cats and dogs, offering a sideways glance at best before they go on with their day.
Barbara Seaman and Cindy Hudson can’t — and won’t — pass them by.
For about the past 10 years, they have been zealous in their efforts to control the pet population in and around Dothan, often at great personal expense.
Having strays and even domesticated pets spayed and neutered isn’t cheap, and it doesn’t take long for the animals to multiply, leaving more and more malnourished and diseased.
They started Felines Under Rescue almost 10 years ago. The ladies would trap feral/stray cats, take them to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, then return them to the same area.
They can’t begin to estimate how many cats and dogs have been spayed or neutered since their organization began. In the first three months of 2013, 445 cats and 35 dogs have been fixed. In 2012, 1,200 cats and 40 dogs were spayed or neutered.
“We’re just two little old ladies," Hudson said. "We have no shelter and no office. We just felt like something had to be done.”
Saturday, the organization held its 10th annual FURFest, a community festival/sale designed to raise money for the effort. As many as 20 vendors were on hand to sell their items at Cottage Antiques on South Brannon Stand Road.
“Every dollar we raise goes straight to the cost of spaying and neutering,” Seaman said.
Hudson said her passion for controlling the pet population began about 15 years ago when she would make regular trips to the beach and notice the same cat with a new litter of kittens.
“I came back and wrote letters to all the pet owners I know,” Hudson said.
Since then, Hudson and Seaman say they have invested immense time and effort in trying to help control the pet population.
It typically costs around $55 or $60 to have a cat or dog spayed or neutered. Seaman said many pet owners, especially fixed income pet owners who own multiple pets, can not afford to do it themselves. In just one or two litters from one pet, an owner can become overwhelmed.
“Not only do we trap strays and have them neutered then returned, but we help subsidize the cost of spaying and neutering for pet owners,” Seaman said. “Spay/neuter is the only way to reduce the population and to reduce the rate of euthanasia at shelters. If you just went to a shelter once and saw them being euthanized, it would change your way of thinking.”
Felines Under Rescue is a 501c3 non-profit organization. It can be reached at 334-792-1367, 334-693-5277 or 334-794-5667.
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