FARMERS BRANCH ~ City of Farmers Branch Animal Services has begun a program to trap, neuter and return feral cats to their environments in an effort to reduce the population. Studies have shown that this method, sterilization rather than euthanasia, effectively reduces the feral cat populations in a given area, according to Farmers Branch Environmental Health Director Stacy Wright. "Feral cats within the city are trapped, sterilized, vaccinated for rabies and returned to the feral cat colony where they were trapped, if possible," he explained. "By placing the feral cat back into the colony, it prevents other cats from entering into or effectively filling the void left by the trapped cat. "Sterilization of more than 80 percent of the feral cats within a colony leads to a substantial decline of the feral cat population over time." Mr. Wright said the feral cat population in Farmers Branch is estimated at 900. Grant funding will enable Animal Services to trap, neuter and return most, if not all, of them within about two years. Farmers Branch residents can request a cat trap for participation in the program by calling Animal Services at 972.919.8770 or by coming by the Animal Adoption Center, 3727 Valley View Lane. For additional information on the program, visit the Animal Services page on the City's website at www.farmersbranchtx.gov.