ELKHART COUNTY -

It's estimated that Elkhart County has around 13,000 feral cats.
The Elkhart County Feral Cat Coalition is working hard to humanely reduce the overpopulation by trapping, altering and releasing the felines back into the wild.
Richard Davidson says, "I just wanted to make sure they have good lives in the neighborhood because they're going to be hanging around here."
He has three feral cats living under the deck in his backyard. There's a mom, a dad and a male kitten.

This is Davidson's first time working with the Elkhart County Feral Cat Coalition.

President Chris Bralick says, "Each cat has two to three litters a year, and they can have up to six cats in a litter, so preventing those numbers from even happening is what we're doing."
It starts early on a Sunday morning as volunteers prepare the cat food.
Once the food is ready, it's placed in the cage.

Then it's time to wait.

As soon as a cat is caught, volunteers put a blanket over the cage to reduce stress.

Once all of the cats are caught they are taken to a veterinarian in Granger to be spayed or neutered which costs the coalition $42 per cat.

Bralick says, "That package includes the spay or neuter, rabies vaccination, a distemper upper respiratory vaccination, flea treatment."
The cats are then taken to a temperature controlled environment to recover.

Just a few days after it all started the cats are brought right back to where they were caught to be released."

Bralick says, "Where they're born is their best chance of survival, too. Once they're relocated they have a high chance of being rejected by other cats or just being so disoriented that they don't survive."

The dad cat was first to be released. The kitten was a little hesitant but eventually was on its way.

Responding to her baby's cries the mother cat was last and most anxious to be freed back into the wild.

Davidson says, "It makes me feel good and I mean I fell in love with the cats."
The Elkhart County Feral Cat Coalition started in 2010 and has since altered about 800 felines.

If you'd like to donate to this cause or learn how you can volunteer you can call the coalition at 574-214-7125. Or you can go to their website http://www.elkhartferalcats.org/Pages/default.aspx