PORTLAND -- Feral cats are being captured, then spayed or neutered and released back to the apartment complexes where they live as part of a program designed to control their population in Portland.

The effort is a collaboration with Multnomah County Animal Services, the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon and volunteers the Apartment Cat Team.

On Wednesday, ACT Leader Ann Potter released some of the feral cats that were captured at an apartment complex on Monday, and have since been vaccinated, spayed and neutered. Residents help feed the cats, and keep an eye on them.

We re not just turning them loose per se, somebody s watching them with the idea that over time the numbers living outside will diminish, said Potter.

Bill Newberry took the lead feeding the wild cats at his apartment complex. He encouraged others to do the same.

It s just people need to step up to the plate. We re all here together and the animals too, said Newberry.

The program wouldn t work without help from Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon -- its non-profit clinic performs the vaccinations and surgeries to spay and neuter.

The clinic is very experienced, performing about 6,600 surgeries a year, according to Executive Director Karen Kraus.

They re domesticated animals and they do need our help, but what s equally important is they have to be spayed or neutered, Kraus said. Feeding them is just a first step. You have got to do the next step or there s going to be more and nobody wants more homeless kittens.

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