By Molly Daly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Eight animal welfare organizations have teamed up to help the Parx casino and racetrack manage a growing feral cat population with a weeklong spay/neuter and vaccine clinic.  Vets expect to provide care to as many as 200 cats living on the property.

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Nervous meows came from more than a dozen pet carriers clustered in front of the mobile clinic being used by the partnering organizations for surgery and vaccines.  Some are barn cats, kept for companionship and rodent control in the stables.

The PSPCA’s Sarah Eremus says the others are feral — domesticated cats living wild.

Kittens recover after surgery (photo by Molly Daly)

Kittens recover after surgery (photo by Molly Daly)

“Some of the feral cat population has resulted from people abandoning their cats here, dumping their cats here,” she tells KYW Newsradio.  That’s a crime, she notes, and it’s hoped that new signage will drive that message home.

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In the meantime, there’s the job of stopping the baby boom.  To that end, veterinarian Adam Corbett had just spayed a kitten.

“It used to be that we thought six months was the time that we could do surgeries, and with advanced techniques, we’ve learned that we can start doing surgeries around two months. This will help us to reduce the numbers of cats, as well as create a population of cats that are healthier and more behaviorally sound,” he explained.

The feline patients will recover nearby at the Women’s Humane Society. The kittens and friendly ferals will be adopted out; the rest will be returned to Parx.

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