Combined effort saves 49 cats

Tracy Peoples didn’t know what she was getting into. She was trying to assist her boss, real estate agent Virgil Bullis (Coldwell Banker), but they had some major hurdles to overcome, in preparing one particular house for sale.

The previous resident had a predilection for feline companionship, or at least she hadn’t had the heart to chase them away, and then the kittens started coming. And then, this apparently-kindly-but-eccentric individual passed away, leaving her sister executor.

However, the sister didn’t live in the state — and even a relatively simple real estate transaction would have been difficult to deal with, aside the grief over her sister’s death (there were additional issues to straighten out).

So, Peoples went over to corral some cats — 49 of them, to be precise (33 adults and 16 kittens).

However, with the settlement date approaching, she found she wasn’t having much luck finding homes for the ones she’d already gathered up. And it was a struggle, just to keep the rest of them fed.

Peoples eventually called the folks at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), but they deflected her — Peoples was welcome to trap the cats herself and bring them in, but they wouldn’t be getting involved. Anyway, she knew most of them would probably be put to sleep if they all went to the pound.

And, as she soon learned, there weren’t any laws to cover the matter — animal control could be tasked with picking up strays, but cats were free to roam.

Finally, Peoples petitioned Bethany Town Cats (BTC) for help — and they answered the call. “They had to trap them all, and haul them over to Four Paws (Animal Hospital, in Bridgeville),” she pointed out. “They all had their inoculations, and were spayed or neutered.”

The organization was founded by Bethany residents in 1999, and has spayed or neutered 230 cats since its inception — this latest effort will likely bump that number considerably.

And BTC helps find homes for the cats and kittens, too. Peoples admitted she never could have done it without them, and passed on a message from the grateful sister — “I will never forget what you did for these cats.”

For more information on adoption, or BTC’s trap, neuter/spay and release (TNR) program, visit the Web site — www.bethanytowncats.org.