Some airport feral cats captured, could be put down

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -  An update to a story we first brought you about a feral cat colony at Richmond International Airport. Eight cats have been captured. Six of them could be put down if they're not adopted by the end of this week.

The Richmond SPCA is willing to foot the bill to spay or neuter, and vaccinate the cats if they're adopted.

Right now, Henrico Animal Control has custody of the eight cats. The SPCA says two have been spoken for. Friday is the deadline for the rest.

The feral cat colony near the airport's north parking garage has dwindled by eight with no telling how many felines may still live there.

"If nothing is going to change about the environment then what they are doing is not only brutal, but is also ineffective, because they are simply creating a vacuum and more cats will come," said Richmond SPCA's Robin Starr.

Starr says the SPCA knew for some time the colony existed and that people were caring for the colony using a trap, neuter, return technique.

Since our report last month when no trespassing signs went up, the SPCA has been working to save the cats, even launching an online petition. According to Henrico Animal Control, its officers picked up eight adult cats that were humanely trapped by airport staff last week. The cats are described as being unsociable and therefore not the best cats for house pets.

"We are working very hard to try to find some good barn homes," said Starr.

Airport officials released a statement. It reads in part: "Preventative efforts including discouragement of public feeding has been unsuccessful. The steps taken by the airport adhere to a federally approved and monitored wildlife mitigation program intended to protect the traveling public."

Henrico Animal Control officials say if the cats aren't adopted by Friday, they will be euthanized. If you're interested in the feral cats, call Henrico Animal Control at 652-3360. The adoption fee will be waived.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.