National organizations and local animal control look to improve welfare, control population

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - National organization Alley Cat Allies is partnering with Operation Spay Bay to help improve the welfare of the cat population in Bay County after Hurricane Michael.

Becky Robinson, the President and Founder of Alley Cat Allies said, "It's kitten season and so we really want to get ahead of kitten season. So this is a prime time to be able to introduce the sterilization, the spay and the neuter."

The organization is holding its Feline Frenzy throughout April with the goal to spay and neuter 1,000 cats in Bay County for free. Monday they treated more than 100.

"It's going to improve the lives of cats, it's going to prevent litters of kittens after these cats are returned home and to their community," said Robinson, "so this is a huge benefit for everyone who really wants some hope and they really want help for their animals. It's also a relief to the overwhelmed shelters and animal control."

The storm didn't just affect the animal populations, it hit those helping them as well.

Amy Wetzel, the Executive Director of Operation Spay Bay said, "We obtained a single-wide trailer and put it in our back yard, our back parking lot and we've turned that into our surgery center."

Despite the county-wide setbacks and hurdles, division manager Kathy Beatson says Bay County Animal Control has seen improvements over the last six months saying, "It's a huge difference, right after the storm probably for the first couple of months we were filled to capacity, we had every kennel, we were overflowing."

Now Bay County Animal Control says as families start to rebuild their lives, they're doing it with their four-legged friends right beside them.

If you'd like to take a cat to the Feline Frenzy you can call Operation Spay Bay at 850-215-1022 or click the link attached to this article.

Operation Spay Bay asks that all cats must come individually in a carrier or a humane trap and arrive at Operation Spay Bay at 7:15 a.m. on a Feline Frenzy day.

The dates for the program are April 4, April 8-11 and April 15-18.