GONZALES, TX -- While San Antonio and many other cities are overrun with feral cats, the small town of Gonzales, Texas has a different problem: It needs more feral felines.
Business owners in the small town east of San Antonio say they want more felines to help keep other creepy critters like snakes and rats away.
With that need in mind, Gonzales Animal Control created a program to catch stray cats and with the help of several donors like Petco and Petsmart, the animals are spayed or neutered then released back into the community.
Mary Anne MacLean, who writes grants for the town says the program has drawn more than $330,000 in funds.
Once the felines hit the ground they get right to work.
"They work for farmers or ranchers in their barns and in their chicken houses." said Mary Anne MacLean. "It's become a good symbiotic relationship.
The program has worked so well that Animal Control doesn’t have enough strays to go around.
Larry Valis, who spends his day rounding up strays said, “A lot of people are wanting feral cats right now. I can’t keep enough of them.”
He’s having to ration the strays to each business for a certain amount of time, transporting them to other businesses or ranches that may want to provide a home for the cats service.
The program has been such a success that other towns are reaching out to Gonzales officials to learn how to model a similar strategy.
“Some of them are calling and wanting to know how the program is working and what they need to do,” said Valis.
It's a program that has allowed Gonzales Animal Control to keep stray cats out of the animal shelter and serving a purpose.
As long as the grants keep coming city officials say they're in good shape.