Are the AHS Cats okay?

As many people here at Azle High School know, there is one thing we see outside on campus: cats and kittens scurrying about the parking lot and in the garages. Though it doesn’t present an issue for humans, the cats may have sad stories themselves.

“The cats have been here at Azle High School for quite some time,” Agriculture teacher John Bell said. “You will see cats near locations with a food source and good places to hide making a school campus a great location.”

Any animal, whether it is a cat or dog, will be drawn to the food supply, which is why more populated places have a higher number of animals in shelters due to food supply and popular dumping grounds for animals.

“I don’t think the cats are a problem,” junior and FFA member Natalie Cain said. “They don’t bother people; however, I feel that people do bother them. I don’t think it is good for them to stay at the school and it would be good if we could figure out somewhere for them to go.”

The cats face threats from cars, the weather, and people who are harassing them. The cats may stay at the school because they have no other option. Many of the cats likely get sick or have shortened life spans due to the threats they face.

“The high school is near several neighborhoods and people tend to dump or leave cats behind when moving or can no longer care for them.” Bell said.

The cats are abandoned by their owners and with nowhere else to go, the high school has the food supply, shelter, and company that the cats need. Though they are feral, many of them possibly had owners at some point.

“Many people feed the cats, so they stay and keep reproducing.” Cain said.

The cats feel they have everything they need by staying under buildings and with people feeding them. It is like any other animal found out in the wild.

“The cost of spay/neuter is expensive and trapping can be a challenge,” Bell said. “Also, who would be in charge of the process? Who would buy the traps? Who would determine what happened to the cats? Feral cats are typically euthanized when taken to animal shelters.”

There is little to be done about the cats here at Azle, but with it being winter, the cats are in dire need of a warm place to sleep. The only option is inside somewhere where it is warm.

“Many students just see them as a Snapchat opportunity,” Cain said. “Although many do care and hope they find a good home.”