COLUMBUS, Ohio — One woman has made it her mission to help the estimated 400,000 stray cats and kittens living feral in Franklin County.
It’s a skill cultivated by Sadie Price’s mother, which Sadie is now passing along to her eight-year-old girl.
Sadie Price trapped, neutered or spayed, and released or re-homed about 500 cats and kittens last year.
“Out of the 500 cats that I did last year, a good percentage of them were kittens,” said Price. “Come springtime, there are kittens all over the place. You can’t get them into shelters. Nobody answers the phone. We are all slammed busy with kittens.”
A female cat will have about three litters of kittens a year. “Many of those kittens are suffering and dying. There’s no place for them to go,” said Price. She will always keep and tame the kittens if they are under 12 weeks old, and then re-home them.
Price traps cats in Columbus, and takes them to SOS of Ohio in Linwood where they spay and neuter dogs and cats at subsidized prices, helping out low-income people and veterans in the community, and rescuers like Sadie Price.
“We help serve low income individuals. Our prices daily reflect the low cost. Cats and dogs every day, usually we are around 30-50 cats a day and 15-30 dogs a day. COVID did require us to cut back a little bit,” said Aley Butler, the clinic manager. One day last spring, during their busy season, SOS of Ohio spayed and neutered about 120 cats and dogs.
“We love being able to help people. One of the biggest things we do is trap, neuter, return and helping people like Sadie,” Butler said.
It’s a skill, and a passion, that Price’s mother passed to her, and that’s being taught to her own daughter, Ivy, to help reduce the number of cats suffering. Eight-year-old Ivy can operate a trap, and knows how to keep the kittens safe, fed, and comfortable until they get to the clinic.
At the clinic, cats are ear-tipped and treated for their health problems before they are returned to their colony.
Price’s work relies on donations. Two women privately sponsor the costs of what she does, so that she can trap and take care of the cats full time. The work relies on donations to the Cat Welfare Association, which issues vouchers to price to cover the costs of the services at SOS of Ohio.
If you want to help cats in your community, Price urges you to donate. To help with the care of feral cats, you can join on Facebook at Feral Cat Community Columbus Ohio.