Stray and loose cats are costing an area police department thousands of dollars a year as the calls continue to rise.
In 2016, the Marshfield Police Department spent $12,939 on shelter fees for animals. That number has risen over the past few years. In June alone, the department picked up 38 stray cats and kittens.
"Literally probably every single day, it doesn't necessarily mean we're picking up a cat every day but we get called to some type of cat at large every day," said Marshfield Police Department ordinance enforcer Bob Larsen. "That was a tough month because you're constantly picking up cats."
Larsen said the cats and kittens come from everywhere.
"This ranges from businesses to streets to people residences to pretty much anywhere," said Larsen.
In 2016, the department picked up 280 animals. Wausau, a city nearly double in population, picked up 221 in the same year.
"We are just overwhelmed with kittens right now," said Larsen. "There's a lot of stray cats in the city, some areas are worse than others, but overall there are a lot of stray cats."
It's not just the police department that feels the impact of the stray and loose animals, it's the area shelter as well. MAPS has only been around a couple of years and runs primarily on volunteers. Many other counties in central Wisconsin have humane societies on a larger scale.
"I think it's more than panic than anything, we're still a small organization, two employees, the rest is volunteers," said MAPS board of directors president Karen Rau.
Rau said that cats turned into the shelter go unclaimed more often than dogs.
"It's really upsetting really," said Rau.
After seven days the animals are spayed and neutered, but the problem still exists in the city. Rau said she is surprised the number hasn't decreased.
"We're taking a lot of those strays out of our community where they aren't reproducing all the time," said Rau.
Larsen said a solution may be difficult, but the best advice is to spay and neuter your pets. He also said that there's a city ordinance that prohibits people from letting their cats or dogs run free outside of their property.