Couple takes on task of spaying, neutering feral cats

A Brooklyn couple is taking on the task of spaying and neutering feral cats in the area.

Denise and Peter Szalaiko, who founded the nonprofit group Ferals in Peril, estimates the clinic they help run has treated 9,000 cats in just three years. The Bensonhurst couple says they started Ferals in Peril after watching two cats fight over a fast food bag.

The organization is a combined effort with Dr. Kaplan, of the Toby Project, who provides the veterinary staff. Organizers say the program is the only one in town since a mobile clinic moved to Queens years ago.

People can bring feral or stray cats to the Bath Avenue building three days a week to get a physical exam, be vaccinated and then be spayed or neutered.

Big Apple Car Service donated the space. For a $75 fee, volunteers also go out and trap cats that neighbors spot in communities.

The organization says if it misses just one female cat, it can set their operation back.

"If you do 19 and the one you missed is a female, you'll be starting all over again and you'll have at least another 19 because a female can have up to three litters a year," says Peter Szalakol. "A litter can be as many as six or seven kittens."

As the weather warms up, Ferals in Peril expects the number of felines that need to be spayed or neutered to rise. The organization says 16 were taken in this past weekend, and seven of them are pregnant.


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