It might seem like a small thing to some, but the Ashland City Commission is making headway solving a sad situation with a compassionate solution.

The commission voted unanimously this week to enact a program to catch and spay or neuter the animals, releasing them after marking their ear.

It's no wonder City Manager Mike Graese said there were 23 complaints for feral cats to be picked up by the city. A feline gestation period is just about two months, meaning a female cat can give birth to as many as five litters a year. A male cat can father 420,000 kittens in his lifetime.

Brian Carroll approached the commission with the problem. Carroll said last year, about 800 cats were taken to the Boyd County Animal Shelter, and most were euthanized. His research showed many neighboring cities practice catch, neuter and release.

“It takes about three years and you see a dramatic decline in the population. I think this is a win-win for cat lovers and people who don't like cats,” Carroll said during a recent meeting of the Ashland Commission.

An overpopulation of cats can cause the deaths of birds and contribute to a rise in the coyote population, as feral cats are on their menu.

For the safety of the city and surrounding areas, something had to be done. The exponential reproduction of cats can not be allowed to continue. We are happy the city chose to control the wild, female population in a kind and ethical way.

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