Tonawanda Island, an 85-acre patch of land in the middle of the Niagara River near Buffalo, N.Y., is full of wild, mangy, unvaccinated and unsterilized house cats.
The uncountable pack of pusses consists of cats which people have forgotten or purposefully left to wander and, of course, procreate freely on the largely seasonal island, reports local CBS affiliate WIVB.
“They’re just everywhere,” local resident Wayne Howard told the station. “People drop them off. I’ve caught people dumping them on the road; they just unload them on the island.”
“The messes that they make, especially the feces around the island and where people walk, it’s disgusting,” Howard added.
“They’re multiplying horrendously,” explained Mike Charnock, who owns the Shores Waterfront Restaurant & Marina on the island. “There’s just too many cats is what it boils down to.”
A local woman, Danielle Coogan, has now decided to take it upon herself to fix the feline flaw on Tonawanda Island.
“They’re just cats that no one really cares about so we are going to try and clean up the island,” Coogan told WIVB.
On the crowdfunding website Gofundme.com, Coogan has already raised $6,215 to pay for her ambitious plan, Operation: Island Cats. (Her funding goal was just $5,000, so she is doing pretty well.)
“Operation: Island Cats” will involve the arduous task of trapping the wild house cats one at a time, vaccinating them, spaying and neutering them and then “tipping” their ears as a way of keeping track of which cats are which.
Any kittens Coogan finds will go up for adoption. However, she plans to release all the adult cats back into the wild.
“Many of the adult cats will, unfortunately, not be adoptable, as they are just too wild, but at the very least they will be fixed, unable to reproduce and free to spend the rest of their days without worry on their island home,” the cat rescuer explains on her Gofundme webpage.
Over the course of the last 10 days or so, Coogan has trapped about one cat each day.