Since 2014, the Troy Animal Rescue Project (TARP) has trapped and safely relocated well over 100 stray cats on campus, according to Tiffany Howington, a 2011 Troy graduate and TARP’s founder and president.
“Stray cats are just a problem everywhere in the city of Troy because for many years Troy didn’t have a shelter that would take cats,” Howington said. “I assume people tossed them out at the university thinking students would take them home.”
Trent Russel, a sophomore math major from Helena and a resident assistant in Pace Hall, said cats may have come because there are some spots under the buildings and in the bushes that serve as shelters.
TARP is located 10 minutes from campus.
“When we take them, we test them for feline leukemia and feline AIDS, get them spayed and neutered, give them vaccines and we give them away to people,” Howington said.
Howington requested students do not tamper with the traps they set up on campus. According to her, the traps were “flipped over, taken out of the bushes and put on their sides” a few weeks ago.
“I know no cats can do that,” Howington said. “I think a lot of students, when they see the traps, think that we may euthanize them, but that’s not true.
“We give them away to people that will give them good homes.”
According to Howington, “If we trap them, the university doesn’t have to take care of it, and the students don’t have to worry about getting scratched or bitten.”
Munira Alharbi, a graduate student from Saudi Arabia studying clinical mental health counseling, has adopted a cat she found one year ago near the dining hall.
“He was so small and weak, so I felt sorry for him and I took him home,” Alharbi said.
Howington said TARP runs completely on public donations and relies on people to let them know where stray cats are. Students can alert TARP on its Facebook page or at (334) 508-2367 if they spot a stray cat.