We appreciate your concern about neighborhood cats.
Unfortunately, cat overpopulation is not a problem that can be solved through adoptions at city animal shelters. There just aren't enough people coming to the shelters looking for cats to take home. Many cats surrendered to city animal shelters are euthanized.
The Animal Welfare Department works hard to help control the pet population through spay and neuter programs.
If there are feral cats in your neighborhood, or if someone (including you) is feeding stray cats, there are charitable groups in Albuquerque that can help get the cats sterilized so they don't reproduce. The cats then continue living outdoors.
These groups are well versed in where to get traps, how to use them, where to take the cats for sterilization and what to do afterwards.
For assistance, contact New Mexico Animal Friends, 881-7297, option 3, or Best Friends Animal Society at 440-3441. Programs also are available through Animal Humane, 255-5523, extension 105.
If you find a tame cat and want to help it, the best way is to foster the cat until you find a home for it yourself. You should notify the Animal Welfare Department and register as a finder of the animal.
Frequently, what seems to be a stray cat is an owned cat which has been allowed by its owner to roam. An owned cat typically will return to its home if you leave it alone, and it can be very difficult to find the owner if you try to intervene by removing it from its roaming area.
You can attempt to reunite the cat with its owner by having the animal scanned for a microchip. City animal shelters and some local veterinarians will do this for free. If a cat is microchipped, the owner's last known address will be on record with the company that created the microchip. There is a very low rate of success in finding the owners of cats, largely because many cats aren't microchipped.
The Animal Welfare Department does not have cat traps for rent, and it will not come to your neighborhood to pick up a cat unless the cat has bitten a person or the cat is injured.
Feeding stray cats is very common, but attempting to eradicate the cats through poisoning or other means is a crime that will be prosecuted.