MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade County Animal Services says there are upward of 400,000 street cats countywide.
For the first time, residents can earn money for helping the county control the community cat population.
Louie Cesin’s yard is a crash pad for these free-roaming felines, courtesy, he says, of a neighbor who feeds them.
He doesn't mind, viewing them as rodent control.
"Got rid of a lot of rats," he said.
Flora Beal, of Miami-Dade County Animal Services, told Local 10 News about a new initiative, under their trap-neuter-vaccinate and return program, to compensate volunteers who already help them control the county’s community cat population, as well as entice new community members to join the effort.
"We know there are a lot of people who care about the cats," Beal said. "(Now we can) compensate them for some of their time."
It's called Tip the Trapper and it offers $15 for every cat brought in.
"So that they can be sterilized, vaccinated and then returned to their community," Beal said, adding that the cat's left ear will also be tipped. "It is not painful, (and it's done) so we can tell these are cats that have already been treated."
After treatment, cats must be returned to where they were found, and no kittens are allowed. Those little ones still need to be with their mamas. A cat must weigh at least 3 pounds to qualify.
Anyone interested in participating in the program can contact animal services, get that training and earn some money for helping to keep the cats in your community not just under control, but healthy.
To be eligible for the incentive of $15 per cat, trappers must adhere specific guidelines, which can be found here.