HALESOWEN’S Cats Protection branch is on the hunt for a volunteer trapping officer to oversee its vital work in controlling feral colonies of the felines.

The Halesowen & District Branch, which is run entirely by volunteers, needs someone who can spare a few hours a month to help prevent colonies breeding out of control.

As feral cats are not domesticated, it is not possible to approach them, so the charity runs a ‘Trap, Neuter, Return’ scheme to humanely capture them before transporting them to a vet to be neutered and finally released back to their colony.

Lydia Brough, branch co-ordinator, said: “The branch does a huge amount of work to help local cats but we really need someone to become our trapping officer and oversee this vital part of our operations.

“It’s a unique role, so we do not expect anyone with experience in this area, and we can provide plenty of assistance and training.

“However, we do need someone who loves cats and has bags of enthusiasm.

“By sparing just a few hours a month it can make a huge difference to the quality of life for feral cats. We are sure whoever takes on the role will find it incredibly rewarding. It’s also a great way to make new friends – both human and feline.”

According to the charity, neutering is vital as cats are prolific breeders and left unchecked a feral colony can rapidly grow out of control. Just one unneutered female cat can be responsible for producing 20,000 descendants in just five years.

Cats Protection’s Halesowen branch is one of more than 250 volunteer-run branches which help around 190,000 cats each year.

As well as its work with ferals and finding new homes for unwanted and abandoned cats, the charity also offers cat care advice to the public and can help towards the cost of neutering domestic cats.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer for the Halesowen branch should call 07815 910603.