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All the dog kennels are full, many with two dogs, at the St Tammany Parish Animal Services shelter in Lacombe, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. (Staff photo by Scott Threlkeld, The Times-Picayune)

Thank you for your article about the animal sheltering crisis in Louisiana.

Yes it is important to "adopt, don't shop" at your local shelter or rescue. Volunteer, foster and educate. It is also important for the public to spay and neuter their pets so they don't add to the overpopulation of cats and dogs. People often comment that they found homes for their dog's or cat's litter, but this just means that other dogs and cats already born do not find a home.

As a cat trapper for the Louisiana SPCA and Trap Dat Cat, I can assure you there are plenty of cats needing homes, and the dreaded "kitten season" is just around the corner.

Cats are everywhere in New Orleans, and we get constant calls about help with getting cats trapped, fixed, vaccinated and returned to their caregivers. Many of these calls come from tourists who are appalled by the number of cats they see on the streets of our beautiful city.

We trap 50-60 cats a week, a drop in the bucket. Thirty-five cats were sitting in traps on my porch on a recent Monday morning ready to be hauled into The Louisiana SPCA, and a very few local veterinarians are offering their discounted services to help stop the suffering caused by overpopulation of cats.

This is a community problem that must be solved by the community. If you are feeding cats but not fixing them, you will soon have 25 or more cats to feed. Your neighbors will not be happy. Unfortunately, our team of trappers can't trap every cat in New Orleans, but you can help. We offer traps and lessons on how you can save cats, stop the breeding and be a good neighbor.

NITA HEMETER

New Orleans

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