Tuesday, March 23, 2021

LAPS plan to manage the 22,000 feral community cats in Langley

Langley City Council heard a presentation from Jayne Nelson, the Executive Director of the Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS.) The Society provides adoption services for cats and dogs. Langley City and Township contract LAPS to provide animal control services.

Ms. Nelson noted the challenges they faced over the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as limited access to veterinary services including spay/neutering. She also highlighted their successes, such as increased applications for animal adoptions and their shift to an online adaption process.

LAPS launched Major’s Legacy Fund. This fund provides financial assistance to Langley residents facing hardship who need extra support to care for their pets. In 2020, LAPS provided support to 633 families. Services include veterinary care, boarding, and a pet food bank. Langley City is a funding partner.

One of the shocking statistics that Ms. Nelson presented is 22,000 feral cats live in Langley. Feral cats are known to harm wild bird populations, including songbirds. This negative impact is of particular concern in places like Langley City, which has the Nicomekl River floodplain system, home to many wild bird species.

LAPS is piloting a trap, neuter, return program for feral cats, which is the only known humane way to reduce community cats. LAPS recently received funding to complete a comprehensive plan for community cat management. Ms. Nelson stated that they would likely need increased funding to carry out the program starting in 2022.

Cats can end up in the community for a variety of reasons. I asked if cat licensing helps reduce the number of cats that end up in the community. Ms. Nelson stated that Calgary has a successful cat licensing program that has helped control the cat population.

LAPS is a crucial partner for Langley City, and it was good to hear from Ms. Nelson at Monday afternoon’s council meeting.

1 comment:

LAPS said...

LAPS does an amazing job with feral cats when they are brought into their facility. They will care for them, feed them, and expose them to humans likely for the first time. They will then be spayed or neutered, then put up for adoption.

from Mary Lou Glazier, Langly, BC