Too many cats on Clark Street

FRESNO, Calif.

Most of the cats won't let humans get close, so volunteers have to trap them in order to get them spayed and neutered. After the surgery, they are returned to the streets.

All around Clark Street Monday, Action News saw cats hiding in the grass, peeking over fences, and basking in the sun. So many of them, it could almost be described as a scene out of a movie. "It's like Birds! But it's cats!" said resident Tony Perez.

Perez said the cats are everywhere. "Sometimes they'll be on the porch. They'll spray, and the next thing you know, you think there's someone on the porch, and they're having fun. They're partying on your porch," said Perez.

Less than a week ago, members of the ACT heard about the cat situation on Clark Street. Since then, they've started an effort to trap the animals, then spay and neuter them before re-releasing them. They say all of this could have started with just two unaltered cats. "You've got people feeding them, but you don't have people fixing them. So they're being fed and they're reproducing, and they're staying in the area, because they're getting the food," said volunteer Jamie Hughes.

On their first day, the team of volunteers had 26 cats fixed. But on Clark Street Monday, Action News only saw one cat with a clipped ear -- a mark showing it had already been fixed.

The fix and release program is just one way the group is trying to educate the community about the importance of spaying and neutering animals. They say it's more effective than euthanizing strays because one animal euthanized would just be replaced by an entire litter. On Clark Street, even those who call the cats a menace would rather not see them killed. "What can I say? It's one of God's animals. You have to be able to take care of it the best way you can," said Perez.

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