Rock Creek Cats, a Kensington nonprofit dedicated to helping feral and stray cats, recently reached a milestone by spaying or neutering its 1,000th cat.

Most of these surgeries have occurred during the past few years.

Through a process known as trap-neuter-return, Rock Creek Cats humanely traps feral cats, has them spayed or neutered and vaccinated, and returns them to their outdoor environment, while ensuring they have food and shelter.

The program reduces births, preventing the feral population from getting out of control and reducing the number of cats who end up in overloaded, so-called high-kill shelters.