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Feral cats still an issue 10 years later

"We're on a shoestring budget," said St. John. "We could have a great month, do a fundraiser and raise $300-$500 and have one cat that needs an emergency operation, which takes all of that."

"We try to get things donated, but because we're believed to be competitions with local shelters, that can be tough," continued St. John. "But, the thing that sets us apart from the shelters is we focus on feral cats and we provide information about them for the public."

In fact, St. John Feral Cat Fund and local shelters work well together, said St. John.

"The people at Elmore SPCA [animal shelter in Peru] have been very helpful to our organization. The board members have donated cat food, litter and other things to help us during the last couple of months," she said.

"The problem is so big, it's so much bigger than any one group can handle," said Inger Joy, president of the Elmore SPCA board of directors, who noted the donations from Peru shelter have come from surplus donations not specifically earmarked to be used at Elmore. "We share what extra we have. We never take away from our own animals."

Through collaboration between Elmore SPCA and St. John's Feral Cat Fund coordinated by Elmore SPCA board member Judy Belrose, the organizations are able to take on the feral cat situation.

"They get to use our resources, we get to use them. It's a mutually-beneficial relationship," said Joy. "We want to assist them in any way we can. It's great to network and share resources when we can. And anyone can help."

Those wishing to make a donation to the St. John Feral Cat Fund may send contributions in care of the organization to P.O. Box 2884, Plattsburgh N.Y. 12901. Donations of dry cat food, canned cat food, cat litter, litter pans, pet beds, towels, food dishes, carriers, and toys are always accepted.

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