Town tackling stray cat problem


Bob Barker would be proud of Crothersville for its efforts in helping control the pet population by having stray cats spayed or neutered.

The former “Price Is Right” host always promoted spaying and neutering pets at the end of his game show, and current host Drew Carey has carried on that tradition.

A state organization recently took notice of the 76 cats in the Crothersville area that were fixed, given a three-year rabies vaccination and had a notch put in their ear so people know they have been spayed or neutered.

Cathi Eagan, founder and director of CanINE Express Transport Project, said Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana applauded the town’s efforts in 2017. She worked with that group to provide vouchers for the stray cats to be spayed or neutered at no cost to the town.

“I have never worked with such a great group of gentlemen that just took the ball and rolled with it as far as trapping the cats, caring for them and staying in touch with us to get them to the vet’s office,” Eagan said of the town employees.

“When Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana, which is a part of the Board of Animal Health now, found out about the work (town employees) and the town council had agreed to last year, they have spread this across the state of Indiana to say to other municipalities, ‘Here’s how to take care of your cats,’” she said. “Kudos to all of you. This is really unheard of for a town to be able to join hands the way that they have to tackle a cat situation like this.”

The Crothersville Town Council recently unanimously approved to continue the program this year, and the Medora Town Council also is getting involved in the program. Both communities will receive 60 vouchers.

Director Linda Jackson and board members Shannon Jones and Karen McDonald with the new cat rescue organization Saints on our Side Animal Rescue in Brownstown attended the recent Medora council meeting to explain the program.

“They all thought it was wonderful and appreciated the opportunity,” Jones said. “Several board members mentioned prior knowledge of stray cats and knew of specific locations of the cats. They all agreed it certainly could do nothing but help with the stray cat population in town.”

Once cats are caught in traps, they are taken to Dr. Kristin Tormoehlen at Brownstown Veterinary Clinic to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated and ear notched.

Crothersville town employees once again will use traps to catch stray cats, and they will be stored in cages or plastic crates until they are ready to take to the veterinarian. In Medora, council President Bob Thompson and his wife have agreed to help with the effort.

The cats are returned to the towns to stay overnight before being released where they were caught.

The process will be repeated throughout the year. Once the vouchers run out, Eagan said Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana will provide more.

She said overpopulation is an issue at animal shelters around the state. Spay and neuter programs, however, result in less animals coming into shelters and save communities money for taking care of the problem.

By spaying and neutering just one male and one female cat, more than 2,000 unwanted births can be prevented in four years and more than 2 million in eight years, according to North Shore Animal League America.

In April 2016, Eagan met with representatives from Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana, the Humane Society of the United States Indiana and the Jackson County animal control officer to discuss what could be done to address the overpopulation of stray and unwanted animals.

Nothing happened from that meeting, so in December 2016 she looked into programs available through Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana.

During the first transport, 29 dogs and cats were spayed or neutered at a clinic in Cloverdale and returned to their owners. Eagan said it worked well, but it took an hour and a half to get there.

She then contacted Tormoehlen about getting involved, and she fixed 15 animals in January 2017. Eagan then learned of Crothersville’s cat problem, and Tormoehlen again offered her time to help out.

There were 22 cats spayed and neutered in January, 20 on March 30 and 19 in the summer and fall — all in Crothersville — along with 15 outside of town limits.

The cats brought back into town may still be strays, but they won’t be procreating and multiplying, Eagan said. People also could choose to adopt them and keep them in their home.

“Think of all of the millions of cats that you have prevented from being born and reproducing here in Crothersville,” McDonald told the council.

McDonald said Eagan spent $75 of her own last year to cover shots of antibiotics, eye treatment and other care for the cats.

Eagan has agreed to do the same thing this year. Crothersville Councilman Lenvel “Butch” Robinson said the town could reimburse her, but she said, “Absolutely not.”

“This is my gift to Crothersville,” she said. “My gift to Crothersville is to work with SNSI to get these vouchers. They have committed to us 60 more vouchers for Crothersville, and they committed 60 vouchers to Medora. Again, this is something that is unheard of in the state of Indiana, so we are on a roll, and they know what we’re trying to do, so they very much support it.”

Eagan said the plan is to concentrate on Crothersville the first part of each month and Medora in the second part. She said it would be great to have a friendly competition between the two communities to see which one traps and spays or neuters the most cats.

McDonald said she and Jackson will help house the cats for a period of time once they are trapped if needed.

They also hope to have other people step up to help with the efforts in both towns.

“We are in a learning curve this spring taking on two different areas of the county,” Eagan said. “The more volunteers we can enlist, the more that can be done. And if we are able to alter 120 cats over the next few months, preventing thousands of kittens, we will consider this a huge success.”

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  1. Crothersville and Medora are participating in a free trap, spay/neuter and release program to help regulate the cat population.

Once the stray cats are trapped, they are taken to a veterinarian to be neutered or spayed, receive a three-year rabies vaccine and be ear tipped for recognition. They will be returned to their respective town to stay overnight before being released where they were picked up.

Anyone who wants to help with the effort may call Karen McDonald at 812-498-0638 for Crothersville or Shannon Jones at 812-528-9194 for Medora.

Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana is providing 60 vouchers to each community and will give more if needed. The program will continue throughout the year.

That organization can be supported by buying a Pet Friendly license plate for your vehicle. The license plate helps fund the state program. For information, visit


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