Image by Flickr user kalavinka
Updates at the bottom:
A proposed ordinance and grant would allow healthy cats to be spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and ear-tipped, then released where they were found.
The current method for dealing with feral cats is euthanasia and incineration. Yowch.
Update November 5:
The sterilization program has continued to move forward, but is beginning to catching some serious flack from bird-oriented animal groups.
Hop over to the updated story over at The Post and Courier.
Update November 6: A reader dropped us a note and asked us to clarify that the program targets feral cats and not strays, as we first wrote.
The difference is of course that a stray cat can be more easily taken in by an owner, while a feral cat is effectively a wild animal in many regards.
A director at the Charleston Animal Society stated, "Ferals are wild and cannot be socialized enough to go into a home (unless they are very young). Stray cats are different. These cats usually have gotten away from an owner or are fed by a neighborhood etc. They aren’t “wild.” Stray cats follow a different protocol than Ferals --i.e. They are tested for health and behavior issues and if determined to be adoptable then are put in queue to be so."
Update December 9:
Charleston County Council members approved the feral cat program Tuesday evening with a 7-2 vote.