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Rescue group takes aim at feral cats
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Carpathia PAWS holds a cat adoption event Saturday at Petsense in Hinesville. The group also has a trap-neuter-return program in place to help control the communitys feral-cat population. - photo by Photo by Denise Etheridge

Carpathia PAWS pet-rescue organization is known for its efforts to adopt out dogs and cats that have been abandoned, sometimes fostering them until they can be placed in “forever homes” with caring owners. What many in the community don’t know is that the volunteer group recently established a trap-neuter-return program to help control the area’s feral-cat population.
“Many cats are left behind when people move here, and I think that cats, often more so than dogs, are not properly vetted by the owner as the owner thinks ‘Oh, this will be an inside-only cat,’” said Sarah Crawford, who heads up cat rescue for Carpathia PAWS. “We are expecting to see an influx of kittens in the spring, so we are trying to get ready for that. We are quite limited in what we can take in, due to the fact that we foster in our own homes. I really look forward to this program getting running so we can see a huge difference in the amount of stray and unwanted kittens on the streets and in animal control next spring.”
Crawford said the organization has had good rates for cat adoption lately, and those that are adopted are properly vetted, meaning they have been spayed or neutered and vaccinated. She said Carpathia PAWS spends $125 on healthy cats prior to adoption, and these cats are adopted out for $50-75. Cats that have not been altered will not be adopted out in an effort to control the cat population, according to Crawford.
“The biggest problem here seems to be that every cat we get from animal control is or will be sick with at least an upper-respiratory infection,” she said. “So we take care of them and get them well before adoption. But all these things cost us more money.”
Crawford said volunteers are needed to help feed feral-cat colonies and to trap cats so they can be spayed and neutered.
Carpathia PAWS holds adoption events and fundraisers throughout the year.
“We hope to raise enough donations to cover the cost of the feral package, which is $25 per cat,” Crawford said.
Carpathia PAWS has scheduled a charity golf tournament for June 7 at Sapelo Hammock Golf Course in Shellman Bluff. Registration is from 7:30-8:30 a.m. with a shot-gun start at 9 a.m. Participants will receive lunch and two free beers.
The pet-rescue organization is seeking hole sponsors, for $100 each, and is recruiting four-man teams. The cost per player is $75. The group also is seeking door-prize donations. Tournament organizers plan to award first-, second- and third-place prizes. Second and third place would be cash prizes; first place has not yet been determined, according to golf tournament coordinator Maryann Wilson.
 “We’re just starting to put it all together,” she said.
To contact Wilson about the golf tournament, call 977-6300.
For more information on volunteering with Carpathia PAWS, call 912-980-2260 or go to the group’s Facebook page.

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