Local News

May 3, 2014

Feline-rescue group at work in Plattsburgh

PLATTSBURGH  Focus on Ferals has rescued 10 cats from Rugar Park in Plattsburgh, many of them injured in snare traps.

“We have more to go,” organization President Rebecca Vaincourt said on Friday. "One of the cats brought in on April 25 had to have one leg amputated. 

"We got notice (Friday) one of the friendlier cats has to have part of its leg amputated.”

Vaincourt surmises the snare traps are intended for wildlife.

“The cats are getting caught in them,” she said. “This individual is aware there are free-roaming cats in the area. It should be common sense to know that these cats could be caught in these snare traps. 

"It's pretty heartbreaking.”


Focus on Ferals works to improve the lives of cats, one at a time.

Founded in 2011 by Vaincourt, Dianna Dumont and Laura Chapman, the volunteer organization has rescued about 400 cats in the Malone and Plattsburgh areas.

“We were established by a handful of people because we wanted to take care of the feral-cat population in Malone,” Vaincourt said.

“We recently expanded our services this year to the Plattsburgh area because we started to receive calls."

The organization is filling the void left after the closure of St. John's Feral Cat Fund, which for many years worked to rescue felines but shut down several months ago. 

The Focus on Ferals volunteer base increased, which allowed the expansion of services to the Plattsburgh area.


The group traps, neuters and returns cats to their environment; in some cases, felines are made available for adoption.

“If we feel they are sociable, domesticated or adoptable, they are placed in foster care until we can get them spayed, neutered, vaccinated and tested for feline AIDs and feline leukemia, Vaincourt said. 

"They are also treated for worms, fleas and ear mites.”

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