Arcadia Boy Scout's Project Tries to Rein in Local Cat Population
A 17-year-old Boy Scout is out to fix a cat problem.
Christian Zwicky of Boy Scout Troop 125 in Arcadia, California, has undertaken an Eagle Scout project to get 20 felines spayed or neutered.
"The whole reason for me doing this is because I have a deep affection for cats," he said. "I've always grown up with cats."
His mother, Barbarina Zwicky, and friend Kent Bevan, 15, are helping Christian to capture abandoned and feral cats, get them spayed or neutered, and find adoptive homes for them.
But the abandoned cats are not the young scout's only project. With the help of veterinarian Dr. Valerie Tesauro of the Tender Loving Care clinic in South Pasadena and several anonymous donors, Christian is also offering to have Arcadia residents' pet cats spayed and neutered for free.
Although cats deemed feral cannot be placed by the Pasadena Humane Society's adoption program, Christian wants to trap them, have them altered, and release them back in their territory.
"Our first goal has to be reducing the cat population so it doesn't become a repetitive problem," he said. "We don't want to have more and more cats on the street starving."
Through the use of humane traps and tasty bait, Christian has already captured six homeless cats and had them fixed. His family adopted two of them, and his grandmother adopted a third.
"These cats are also a part of our community, and this kind of suffering should never be allowed in the caliber of city we have in Arcadia," Barbarina Zwicky said. "It might be a small effort, but each one is a life."
Christian's friend Bevan said he thought the idea was "crazy" when he first learned of the project. However, he said he has come to appreciate the importance of Christian's efforts.
The young scout hopes to reach his goal of getting 20 cats sterilized by the end of September, at which point he will earn his Eagle Scout rank, the highest level in Boy Scouts.
But, he says, his quest won't finish when the project ends. He wants to lobby local officials for mandatory spay/neuter laws for cats.
[Source: Pasadena Star-News]