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      Homes desperately needed for stray cats in Horry County

      Stray and feral cats have become a major problem throughout Horry County, and animal experts say people who are trying to help may actually be making the problem worse.

      If you want an idea of how bad the problem is, just step into Bob Hall's home in Horry County. He has 26 cats - all strays that he rescued.

      "They fell in love with me; I fell in love with them, and they're here to stay," Hall said.

      But how they all got there is another story.

      "I have a trap that I made out of PVC tubing and a golf net," Hall said. "I actually engineered and fabricated my own trap."

      Hall is a trained volunteer who traps stray and feral cats, then nurses them back to health and gets them spayed or neutered. In the last two years, he's trapped more than 100 cats throughout Horry County. He said many people mistakenly think they're helping the situation.

      "Animal lovers love to feed cats, but they don't realize that they need to spay and neuter those pets," Hall said. "They will just multiply."

      Volunteers like Hall take the captured kitties into their homes and care for them until they're ready to be fixed.

      You can volunteer too, by getting trained at "Trap, Neuter, Return" programs like the one at Save-R-Cats in Surfside Beach.

      "I love cats," said Hall. "I love what I do. I would not pass it up for anything."

      But volunteers are hard to find, and it can be costly."My monthly bills -- probably for the cats that I have here and the cats that I have outside -- are probably over $600 a month," he said.

      Animal groups also need people to adopt the strays kittens that volunteers like Hall nurse back to health. If you want to adopt, or just volunteer to learn how to trap, call Save-R-Cats at (843) 222-8057 or click here.