Halifax Regional Council has voted to give $40,000 to the SPCA for a new vet clinic that will spay and neuter feral cats.

The clinic will be the first of its kind in Nova Scotia.

“We have an overpopulation crisis in Nova Scotia and it is imperative we address it and get ahead of it,” says Kristin Williams, executive director of the Nova Scotia SPCA.

“Unless 80 per cent or more of breeding aged animals are altered, we will not see a difference in the number of animals coming into out shelters.”

Animal welfare workers say there are too many feral cats in the Halifax area and their numbers will only grow if something isn’t done to curb what they are calling a cat crisis.

“We have a huge cat problem in HRM, there are literally hundreds of stray, feral cats and cats,” says veterinarian Hugh Chisholm.

Chisholm is also the mastermind behind a savvy mayoralty campaign that earned his cat, Tuxedo Stan, international attention.

Tuxedo Stan didn’t win, but he used his cat clout to lobby for help for his feline friends, adopting the matter as a campaign issue.

The SPCA presented the idea of a feral cat clinic to council, and today they voted unanimously in favour of the idea.

“I believe we have a duty to step up and help with this problem, rather than residents doing it themselves,” says Coun. Gloria McCluskey.

The SPCA says the new facility means it can now offer help to people who can’t pay to get their cats fixed and that goes for other rescue organizations as well, who may not have it in the budget.

The organization will run the clinic. They expect to handle 1,000 subsidized operations each year.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Marie Adsett