A new cat adoption center is holding an event to raise awareness about stray and abandoned cats. 

Stray cats in East Idaho are a bigger problem than most might think, says Rexburg’s Superhero Animal Rescue founder KD Hays. 

Rexburg used to have Four Paws Pet Adoption as a resource, but the center announced its retirement nearly a year ago. Since then, Hays took up the task of creating a new resource for stray and abandoned cats. 

Superhero Animal Adoption works independently and uses donations to feed, spay, neuter and care for cats. The program is called trap, neuter, and return – or TNR for short. The program is a plan to help reduce the population of stray and abandoned cats in the Rexburg area. 

Hays explained TNR is a program urban communities use to control the cat population. “It’s just trap, neuter, return and that way you’re not forcing feral cats into a shelter where they’re just going to be euthanized and they can still kind of control the rodent population without reproducing,” she said. 

On October 20, a sidewalk festival will happen to help fund the TNR program. Sarah Dunster, the event coordinator, says sometimes BYU-Idaho students contribute to the problem of homeless animals because they will take in pet or cat and then circumstances such as apartment rules, money or moving away from Rexburg will leave the cat without a home. This is a problem in rural areas as well. Dunster says local shelters have been overrun by drop-offs related to this. The TNR program aims to reduce the number of drop-offs and abandonments. 

Dunster hopes the sidewalk festival will raise awareness in the community. There will be crafter booths, musicians dressed up as cats and fishing ponds with prizes from local companies and the shelter. The Roxy Theater will also show Disney’s “Aristocats.” Everything outside the theater is free to the community. Admission into the theater is $5 per person or $20 per family. 

For more information, visit the Rexburg Superhero Animal Rescue Facebook page.

If you are interested in volunteering, contact Sarah Dunster at 208-206-8964.