New River student takes on cat overpopulation in Greenbrier County
Terry Holliday, an honors student at the New River Community and Technical College Greenbrier County Campus in Lewisburg, is requesting support from Greenbrier County residents to get every cat in the area spayed or neutered to prevent unwanted feral cat colonies and the unnecessary deaths of thousands of cats and kittens.
“This project started as an act of kindness for one of my neighbors whose property was inundated with a feral cat colony that was out of control,” Holliday said. “Through that deed, word began to spread to other residents and we have been able to trap, spay and neuter 66 cats since the program’s inception last winter, and I have no plans of slowing down as long as I can find donors.”
Holliday is president of the Beta Zeta Delta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at New River. He has enlisted his fellow PTK members to assist in fundraising for the project, which provides spay and neuter surgeries through a partnership between the Greenbrier County Humane Society and Dr. Sandra Callison, D.V.M., of Lewisburg.
According to statistics from the Humane Society of the United States, one pair of breeding cats, and their offspring, can produce over 420,000 cats in a span of seven years.
Holliday noted, “In other words, with no more than the 66 cats we’ve gotten fixed so far, we have eliminated potentially thousands of unwanted cats whose fate would likely have been homelessness, disease and death.”
In 2012, over 1,200 dogs, cats and kittens were euthanized in Greenbrier County alone because of overpopulation. Holliday says he was dumbstruck by this incredible fact, given the number of citizens in the county.
“I just couldn’t stand by any longer not doing anything and am pleading for everyone’s support,” Holliday said. “With this program, no one in Greenbrier County can say they can’t get their pet fixed because of cost.”
The surgeries so far have been paid through the partnership between the Humane Society and Callison. However, the vouchers from the Humane Society don’t cover the entire cost of the procedures, leaving $22 per cat for a rabies vaccination and pain medication. This additional cost to date has been covered by fundraisers sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa and a couple of generous donors in the Lewisburg area.
Tax-deductible donations may be sent to the following address to help expand the project and increase the number of surgeries performed: Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Attn: Spay/Neuter Project, 101 Church Sreet, Lewisburg, WV 24901.
If you live in Greenbrier County and have a feral cat colony, or need assistance getting your cat(s) altered, please call 304-449-4973. Spay/Neuter vouchers for your cat or dog may be obtained directly from the Greenbrier Humane Society, 151 Holliday Lane, Lewisburg, WV 24901, 304)-645-4775, Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.