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As We See It

Las Vegas is serious about reducing its stray feline population

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The feral cat count could be as high as 300,000 felines.

There’s a stray black cat living in my housing complex. I know this because my dog refuses to pee if it’s watching him. Other than that minor inconvenience, the feral feline seems harmless to me—but he might not be.

When that little bugger isn’t giving people bad luck by crossing their paths, he might be making sweet feral love to other strays. He might be populating my neighborhood with a colony of kittens—none of which my slightly neurotic dog will pee in front of. Keith Williams, director of the nonprofit Community Cat Coalition of Clark County (the CCCCC!), told the Las Vegas Sun he estimates the local feral cat community at between 200,000 and 300,000.

That number is down from the 750,000 to 1 million Williams estimated a few years ago. The decrease appears to be the result of an ordinance that went into effect last year, which allows feral cats to be trapped, neutered and vaccinated, then returned to the populations they were found in, all in an effort to curb overall stats by reducing the number of kittens in colonies.

The policy might be a success, but 200,000 is still a lot of cats. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority could have given every CES 2011 attendee a feral cat in a swag bag and still had 60,000 left to give to every Valley resident of Polish descent. (John Petkus, honorary consul to Poland in Las Vegas, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal there are 60,000 Polish people living here.) Really, this is a great plan to promote tourism and Polish relations.

Unless, of course, tech geeks and Poles are dog people.

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