Written by Missy Kelly
Photography by Amy Swats Brown
In 2013, Missy Kelly was shocked to discover there were approximately 80 million free-roaming cats living in the United States and on average about 72% of all cats and kittens that enter our nation’s shelters were being euthanized for space and behavior. Missy also discovered the non-lethal way to control the cat population was trap-neuter-return. By getting these unadoptable cats trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and any needed medical care is provided, they can be returned to their outdoor territories where they can live out their lives, being cared for by a caretaker, without producing more kittens, spreading diseases, or displaying nuisance behaviors seen in unaltered cats.
Missy believed she could make a positive change and started Kokomo Community Cats Trap-Neuter-Return Program (KCC) in 2014. KCC, a small, all-volunteer non-for-profit which is ran strictly on donations, has successfully spayed and neutered over 2,400 cats, socialized and adopted out hundreds of kittens, and provided countless resources to cat caretakers including education, cat shelters, and vet care. KCC has shared thousands of pounds of cat food to low income feeders annually in addition to working closely with our local animal shelter to take in cats deemed feral or kittens to help with overcrowding. Since KCC began shelter intakes locally have plummeted. Her local shelter also went from an approximately 22% live release rate to a 90% live release rate and no cats had to be euthanized for space or because they were deemed feral in 2018.
Bank place Photographer: Amy Staats Brown on the photo. Thanks!!