Baldwin County has a cat problem. Gratefully, we have a local nonprofit that is working to help solve it, and Impact 100 Baldwin County is playing a large role in those results. Feral cats are all over the county (indeed, all over the country), in neighborhoods, in towns, out in the countryside, and around barns. In addition to eating native birds and spreading diseases, they are often a nuisance. Typically, when residents see stray cats around their areas, they call animal control for help, and as a result, thousands of cats are euthanized each year. Given that one female cat can have hundreds of kittens over her lifetime, a program to help contain this population growth can make a big difference in our county.

For these reasons our membership selected the Baldwin County Humane Society (BCHS) and their Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) program to receive the 2019 grant in Environment, Preservation and Recreation. This on-going effort will prevent resident feral cats from having new litters of kittens, reduce the resulting euthanasia, and avoid other issues that feral cats cause by reducing the population in a humane way. The TNR program consists of trapping, neutering/spaying and vaccinating, along with notching their ear to identify that this has been done, then releasing the cats back to where they were found.

Abby Pruet, executive director of the BCHS, says the Impact 100 grant, and the program are a game changer for Baldwin County and the droves of feral cats here. The grant enabled the group to purchase a vehicle and hire a part-time coordinator to launch the program. The Humane Society received the award in November, by February they had boots on the ground, and by the end of June, had already altered and released over 200 cats. While our $101,000 grant initially fueled the effort, Pruet says that it will continue once the grant ends. Funding will continue to come from other grants, donations, and their resale shop.

With help from Impact 100 Baldwin County, it is easy to see how the Baldwin County Humane Society is helping to solve our feral cat problem — one cat at a time!