Layton girl volunteers to help save feral cats

Layton girl volunteers to...

LAYTON, Utah (News4Utah) - A 14 year old girl from Layton has taken it upon herself to save all our feline friends. She uses a humane method to capture the cats, vaccinates and fixes them, and then releases them. 

At times, Sarah Jones’  home may look more like a zoo.

“I have two bearded dragons, a rabbit, two turtles, a newt, a fish, four foster kittens, my cat, three dogs,” explains Sarah. 

It probably comes as no surprise that Sarah has always dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. For now, she trains by doing tireless volunteer work. What Sarah does is something called trap-neuter-return, or TNR. TNR is the recommended method of catching feral cats. The cats are trapped humanely, vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and returned to their communities with tipped ears.

Sarah has been doing this for the past year, and she says it all started with Scarlet. 

“[Scarlet] was a stray and she kept coming to my I wanted to take her in and take care of her, and then once I got her it really inspired me to help all the other cats like her,” says Sarah. 

Sarah's hard work and love of animals has not gone unnoticed. Temma Martin from Best Friends Animal Society says Sarah is making a big difference. 

“She's actually doing something to save lives and make a difference,” explains Martin. 

Martin says that the trap-neuter-return method sarah uses is vital to any community.

 “Trap and kill has been shown to be a phenomenal failure...The communities that have embraced trap-neuter-return, have seen an incredible decrease in the number of cats coming into their shelters."

Utah is on track to become a no-kill state by 2019, but Martin says the state is still struggling with cats.

“We really need to get more cats adopted, and even more importantly, get more cats spayed and neutered,” says Martin. 

And Sarah says, she will keep working to save all the cats she can.

“It’s funny, when I release them it's almost like they look back and just say, ‘Thank you,’” says Sarah.  

If you come across a group of cats in your neighborhood, Best Friends Animal Society recommends practicing trap-neuter-return. For more information on that, go here.

Sarah is also working on a new project: raising money for a van to help save even more cats. To help her reach that goal, go here. 

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