More than a dozen Carbon County animal lovers gathered at the county courthouse annex Monday evening to discuss some animal-related issues in the area.

The group met with Commissioner Charles Getz and Randall Smith, county administrator, to discuss the problems with dogs and feral cats in the county.

Donna Crum, who is an animal cruelty officer and a member of Carbon County Friends of Animals and the County Animal Response Team, said she felt the meeting was "very productive."

"Randy Smith and Commissioner Getz seemed very receptive," she said. "Everyone was open to new ideas and open to suggestions. It looks promising."

Smith echoed Crum's thoughts, saying "I think it was a productive first meeting. We do understand there is a feral cat problem in the county. We don't have any immediate solutions to the problem but we intend to look at it closely to see what we can do."

He noted that he feels the county now has a better understanding of the problem and what role the county can play in addressing it.

The group discussed various options to help control the feral cat population, including possibly having a mobile spay and neuter van come into the county; and educating the public on the importance of preventing these situations from happening or spreading.

Smith said that these two possible solutions are definite things the county plans to look into.

To help with the animal situation, volunteers at Carbon County Friends of Animals have offered to organize volunteer services to assess and care for the animals until they are adopted. These services, if created, could be overseen by the county.

The group is now researching grants that could be applied for to help with spay and neutering, and ways to educate the public on the seriousness of the problems.

A second meeting has been tentatively set for June 20 at 6 p.m. in the courthouse annex. That meeting will further discuss options that are available to the county to help address the feral cat and dog issues.