Operation Island Cats raises more than $6,000

TONAWANDA ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) – After a trip to Tonawanda Island, Danielle Coogan decided something needed to be done to control the number of cats there.

She said, “I was just kind of astonished by the amount of cats and I just felt like something needed to be done and I’m here to do it.”

Just two days after Coogan’s story aired on News 4 she has raised more than six times her original goal of $1,000. The kittens she has trapped are in foster homes, being socialized so they can be put up for adoption. The adult cats are being spayed or neutered and then released back to the island.

Gina Browning of the SPCA of Erie County said, “This is more than many people are willing to do.”

However, the attention has been both good and bad for Coogan and Operation Island Cats. A few viewers called News 4 upset that volunteers are feeding the cats on the island.

Browning explained, “They are right, to a certain degree. They are right when people are just taking the first step without taking that next step of responsibility of having them spayed or neutered. They are creating a breeding ground for more and more cats, and whatever the situation is this summer it will quadruple next summer.”

In this case, Coogan is taking that next step. She is also working with North Tonawanda’s city attorney to make sure she follows all local laws.

“Unless they’re spayed and neutered the problem is going to continue to grow, and this is a small island with a big cat problem,” said Coogan.

She’s working with several non-profit organizations, including Feral Cat Focus and the Niagara County SPCA to make sure the donation money is managed correctly.

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