When Juliann Price and Hunter Jones decided to start Klassy Kats of Butts County late last year, their mission was to reduce the overpopulation of cats in Butts County by using a proactive approach for promoting, educating, and taking part in spaying and neutering cats and kittens that came into the Butts County Animal Shelter prior to adoption.
“Our mission initially was going to be to help cats that came in, and the Sheriff’s Office was having to chase people down to get the cats fixed,” Price said. “So we said, let our mission be to come in to fund raise and let our donations go to fixing cats. That way, they don’t go out of here unless they are fixed.”
Domesticated kittens and cats were what they set out to work with, but found that feral cats in Butts County are also a big problem.
“Our mission changed in February because a gentleman passed away in the county and he literally had 29 feral cats out in his barn,” Price said. “He had been feeding them and trying to do the right thing. When he passed away, his family called and said they wanted all the cats gone. So animal control went out there and set traps, and we went out there and picked up the traps and got 29 cats.”
Plus, 13 of the cats were pregnant and four of them had litters before Klassy Kats could have them fixed.
“Had we not gotten the call, the gentleman would have had more than 70 cats out there,” Price said.
They were able to work with the Atlanta Humane Society to get all of the cats fixed and are hoping to be able to adopt them all out.
“What we’ve done is we’ve fixed them and we’ve put out a questionnaire for anyone who had at least five acres of land in the county,” Price said. “We ask them if they have the land, if they are willing to feed them, if they have some type of shelter, and if they need a cat to control rats. We’ve actually adopted out around 50 ferals so far.”
They are also working with animal control on a program called Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR).
“The premise is that when they find a bunch of feral cats in a community, the hope is that the community will come together and let them be fixed and put back where they were found, and over time, they die off,” Price said. “That’s the message that we want to get out to the community. It’s nice that you feed stray cats, but if you don’t get them fixed, you’re doing kind of a disservice to the cats and your neighbors and yourself, because they will multiply. “
So far this year, between domestics and ferals, the animal shelter has taken in 567 cats, and Klassy Kats has been about to give out 383 of them between adoptions and and transfers to other cats rescues.
“So we’ve really done a lot of work around here,” Price said. “I don’t think people realize the volume of cats that come in here.”
Klassy Kats is also doing its best to make fixing kittens and cats more affordable.
“On Aug. 2, we partnered with a mobile veterinary unit out of Macon,” Price said. “We put out a 50/50 for the community where we’re willing to pay half if they would pay half for spaying or rabies. The unit had 40 slots and we only filled about seven of them, which was kind of heartbreaking to us because we felt like this was a good deal. Normally the neuter would be $70, spaying would be $60 and rabies would be 12. So really, they could have gotten a fixed cat for $36 basically. I hope if we do it again we can get a better response.”
With the help of the Sheriff’s Office, Klassy Kats has also improved the area of the animal shelter on Bibb Station Road where they keep the cats, bringing in a trailer to separate kittens and adult cats.
“We bring the cats in, once they get their initial shelter shots, we bring them into the first room with cages, and then they are ready to get fixed,” Price said. “Once they get fixed, they are bought back here. Last year we had one room for both kittens and adults to be in, and the adult cats didn’t like it. There was an empty office trailer sitting on the lot, and the Sheriff’s Office moved it adjacent to the building, used trustees to build a door and passageway, and made the inside of the trailer into our kitten room.
“It has been amazing, because we can put all our fixed kittens out there, and we have our fixed adult cats in another room. We had a big adoption event about a month ago and it worked out great.”
Klassy Kats has another tentative adoption event coming up at the animal shelter on Oct. 23, depending on the status of the pandemic. They are also looking for both donations and volunteers.
“We don’t have our Facebook donate button yet, but we do have PayPal, and we have donation boxes around town. We do have a website, KlassyKatsofBC.com. I would love to find some volunteers to help me work on it and other media stuff. I’d also like to get more foster families, too. Right now, we’ve got three times as many cats at the animal shelter as we do dogs. There is an application to fill out and I have to do a home inspection, but those are things that the Department of Agriculture require.
“Part of what I really want to do down the road is get the community to understand that there are so many options out there to get their animals fixed.,” Price added. “Call us and we’ll give you the information. There is really no excuse for not getting your pet fixed.”
Klassy Kats can be reached at Butts County Animal Control at 770-775-8013.