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Alley Cat Guardians Extending Service
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Having gotten the go-ahead to look after the feral cat colony at Jacob Myers Park several months ago, Wendy Miller of the Modesto-based Alley Cat Guardians came before the Riverbank City Council again on April 9 to secure their approval to spread their service to about a dozen feral cats living in the alley behind the Post Office at Third and Sierra streets.

There is some controversy about what the Guardian volunteers do, so Miller said she wanted to obtain official permission first, at least to provide food and water for the animals, which include two pregnant females. She has heard there are also some feral cats living in the Community Gardens across from California Avenue School.

To protect the animals that were abandoned or were born wild and are difficult to tame to domestic life, the Guardians feed them daily and try to trap, vaccinate and spay or neuter them before returning the animals to the wild. The veterinary services at a low cost clinic cost about $50 per cat. They never return an animal unless it is healthy. The colony itself will drive away newcomers.

The group is now serving an area extending through Riverbank, Oakdale and Empire and is formulating a long term plan to cover the county. One of its main purposes is to reduce the number of cats that end up at the animal control shelter and are euthanized.