SOUTH BELOIT, Ill. (WIFR) - Feral cats roam areas of South Beloit and a non-profit organization is stepping in to help.
"There are community cat colonies all over Winnebago County and definitely all over South Beloit," said Stephanie Hicks, C.A.R.E for P.E.T.S.
Many residents notice stray felines roaming west of Blackhawk Boulevard.
"It's not an infestation, it is just colonies. an infestation would mean they're everywhere," said South Beloit Mayor Ted Rehl.
Mayor Rehl says there are about five or six colonies of cats.
"The last six months it's been really escalating," Rehl said.
So city leaders took action and teamed up with the non-profit C.A.R.E for P.E.T.S.
"We could really focus on the problem without having to destroy animals," Rehl said.
"The volunteer is taking them and they are getting altered and vaccinated and then she is holding them for a recovery process," Hicks said.
C.A.R.E for P.E.T.S. will vaccinate, neuter and spay two cats per week.
"Cats can have two to three litters a year and they can reproduce all year round," Hicks said.
"This gives us a long-term solution because they won't repopulate, they can't and eventually those feral cats will just disappear," Rehl said.
Mayor Rehl warns residents to leave it to professionals to trap stray cats.
"If you trap that cat or grab that cat you are really challenging your fate because those cats and their claws could have all kinds of issues," Rehl said.
"Everyone really truly needs to work together so that we can have that under control and all cats can have homes so we don't have more cats than we have homes available," Hicks said.
C.A.R.E for P.E.T.S. could use more volunteers. If you're interested contact staff through the organization's Facebook page.