Pet trapping causes concerns for Bay County residents

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – Stray pets have been a serious local problem for decades.

But some residents are taking it upon themselves to address the problem and that’s creating even more concerns.

Posts like these are quite common on social media, with pet owners showing their concern over their pets being trapped.

More often than not, it’s cats that end up in the cages.

“It’s actually called cat trapping and it’s referred to as T.N.R,” said Operation Spay Bay Treasurer Terry Cotter.

Most of the people doing the trapping are upset over the neighbor’s pets wandering on their private property.

Other times it’s organizations like Operation Spay Bay trapping feral cats to spay or neuter.

“I am the volunteer here at Operations Bay. And when people call the clinic with concerns about cats at their business or neighborhood or their home, they let me know. And then I go out and I do the trapping,” said Operation Spay Bay volunteer Monica Lock.

Spay Bay handles about 10 cats a week.

They fix the strays, provide them with medication, and then release them in the same area where they were found.

“Control their cat population. They don’t destroy them unless they’re sick or injured or, you know, just in a bad situation,” Cotter said.

Operation Spay Bay only collects strays off the street.

Some people worry their pet will be mistaken for a stray and will be trapped.

Bay County Animal Control constantly gets calls for cats caught by regular trappers.
Most are strays, but some are family pets.

“A lot of times they’re mad because they’re trapped. If they’re if they’re calm, and the officer can scan it, they’ll do that. Or they’ve seen it before, and they know it’s been chipped. They’ll try and return it to the owner. But a lot of them have to come here. We will scan them if they have a microchip. We’re going to call whoever the registered person is on it, whether it’s a feral or not,” said Bay County Animal Control Division Manager Kathy Beatson.

It’s one of the main reasons Beatson urges pet owners to get their animals microchipped.

With that information, shelter staff can help reunite the pet and owner.

If not, the shelter can only hold animals for a limited time.

“We’re an open admission shelter which means that no matter how many people show up at our door, we have to take those animals in. So I have no control over how many animals we’re going to have every day,” Beatson said.

When the shelter gets full, unclaimed animals are either transferred or euthanized.

All animals are posted on shelter websites, so if you’re animal is missing check the website first or call animal control immediately.

Click the links to see if you’re pet may have ended up in a local shelter:

Bay County Animal Control

Lynn Haven Animal Control

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