HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) - Holland's animal control department has fewer resources these days to deal with a variety of complaints, including feral cats. However, now a group of animal advocates is hoping to start a new rescue shelter, which would be the first in the city to care for the homeless cats.
Claudia Sayers feeds and shelters stray cats in her Holland trailer park everyday.
"I counted one morning, there were 28 cats and kittens on my little patio that came to eat, and that was only the breakfast," says Sayers.
Many times feral cats get euthanized, but a new program would help care for them instead.
"When you go into an area and just kill all the cats, there's a vacuum, and more cats will move in," says Carleen Everett-Bauer, Founder of Best Pals Animal Rescue.
Bauer says the answer is getting the animals fixed instead of killing them.
"What we want to do is have those cats trapped and spayed and neutered and vetted, and put back to the same location," says Bauer.
"It would be big. I mean I could cry at the thought of somebody doing something like that," says Sayers.
Bauer says over time the population would decrease, easing overcrowding at local animal shelters and reducing the workload of Holland's Animal Control Department, which is no longer full time.
Bauer says there are also calls for stray cats near the Hope College campus. Some students say they see people taking care of the cats all the time.
"One of my friends who lives on the same floor as me on campus named a cat and made a little house out of a box," says Erin Goodell, a Hope College student.
Bauer says the stray cats that are rescued will never be adoptable.
"These are wild cats just as a squirrel or rabbit is wild," says Bauer.
Best Pals Animal Rescue has a fundraiser in two weeks at Must Love Dogs in Grand Haven. Bauer hopes to have the shelter open within a year. She wants people to know that Best Pals will also care for dogs.