JOHNSONBURG — Volunteers striving to curb Johnsonburg’s feral feline population are turning their attention toward its youngest sect: kittens. Many adult cats were found to have been previously spayed or neutered.

The goal now is to catch their kittens, spay or neuter them and hopefully find them new homes. Veterinarian Jesse Shirey, who works for the Elk County Veterinary Clinic and volunteers with the program, said that the kittens can be easily caught and re-homed.

“We have the opportunity to catch a lot of those,” he said.

Borough officials, collaborating volunteers and members of the Ridgway Animal Haven first announced the program at a special meeting in December. Two sizable cat colonies were said to have settled into abandoned homes in the borough.

The focus at the time was on catching adult feral cats in box traps, spaying or neutering them, and then releasing them. Cats recovered from the traps were to be housed temporarily in a borough office outbuilding.

The borough had budgeted about $3,000 for the project, as previously reported. Since that meeting, Shirey said it was discovered that another individual caught some of the cats and had them “fixed” independently.

“We’re actually in a great position,” Shirey said. “It’s going to take a lot of pressure off the borough financially.”

With “kitten season” approaching, Shirey said many recently born cats will soon be seen outdoors. Residents and nearby farm owners, he said, have already expressed interest in adopting some of them.

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