An Arkansas woman who was feeding a colony of 15 feral cats was deeply distraught when she found the bodies of seven of the cats, all riddled with gunshots. One cat who had been shot in the eyes had apparently wandered around blindly before dying.
Desperate to save the remaining cats—five adults and three kittens—from suffering the same fate, the woman contacted PETA for help. We talked her through how to trap the cats, and since there was no animal shelter in the area, we found a veterinarian who was willing to assess their condition. The caller brought in the adult cats, and the vet determined that because they were so feral, it was unkind to confine them, try to tame them, and look for someone willing to take any of them when so many socialized cats are already going without homes. The vet recommended peaceful euthanasia.
The woman took the kittens into her home, carefully socialized them, and found families who adopted them—terrific news.
Feral cats face innumerable dangers, including attacks by other animals, being hit by cars, contracting deadly contagious diseases, exposure to extreme temperatures, starvation, and cruel people who poison, shoot, and otherwise torture them. The best way to help feral cats is to trap them and, if you cannot provide a good home for them without traumatizing them, take them to a reputable animal shelter.