They aren't the cutest.
Or the cuddliest.
Feral cats are often considered a nuisance in our state.
But a group of dedicated volunteers is making sure these animals are protected.
Joy Hollowell introduces us to Forgotten Felines of Maine.
"Forgotten Felines of Maine is basically a trap, neuter and return program," says Pamela Hansberry, director for the program. "We help people who feed the homeless, stray, abandoned and feral cats."
Hansberry says many in Maine have many misconceptions when it comes to feral cats. among the biggest-
"That cat's that are born outside or born in a barn, that they're feral," says Hanbsberry. "That's not true. A feral cat has a fear of humans."
It happens when a cat isn't born around people. They form colonies to look for food sources.
"And so we help the people who feed these cats," says Hansberry.
Forgotten Felines of Maine loans out traps so the feral cats can be caught. They're then taken to a vet where the group pays for the feline to be spayed or neutered as well as get a rabies shot. Then, the feral cat is returned to the colony.
"We also take kittens from the colonies," explained Hansberry. "We put them into foster homes and they are socialized there, made friendly so that we can adopt them out. We have about 15-20 foster homes from Augusta all the way up to Machias"
According to Hansberry, a kitten born in the wild can be socialized pretty easily up to 12 weeks old. A longer period is needed for those 12-to 16 weeks old.
Each month, Forgotten Felines holds adoption events. Robin Fisher and her daughter have been fostering kittens since Forgotten Felines of Maine started back in 2009.
"My daughter and I are cat lovers," says Fisher.
The group provides foster families with food, litter as well as paying the cost of vet bills.
"This is a wonderful organization. Everybody is very close," says Fisher. "Everybody works very close. It's all for the cats, everything is for the cats."
"Our feeling at Forgotten Felines of Maine is that every animal, including humans, has a right to life."
You can find out more information about Forgotten Felines of Maine through their Facebook page. Right now, the biggest item on the group's wish list is a vehicle to transport the cats.
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