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Feral cat population addressed

Danielle Ryan

(6/15) At the June 14th Borough Council meeting, Carroll Valley citizen, Michael Eiker, voiced his concerns with the increasing feral cat population seen specifically in Section A on Hilltop Trail. Eiker has noticed a drastic increase in the cat population around his house and spoke about the loud noises they make, the disruption they have had on the wildlife in the area, as well as the odor caused by the cats marking their territory by spraying along the foundation of the house. More cats with kittens have been found under and around his house, totaling numbers close to thirty cats seen.

Councilman Sarah Skoczen addressed the issue. She was not aware of the massive increase in the feral cat population specifically in that area, but did mention that the problem was addressed in the K Section and Cheryl Trail last August by implementing a TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) program. She recently spoke with someone who has had similar issues with the cats, and hopes to implement the program in July.

Since last August, 91 cats have already been trapped, neutered and released. Skoczen and other Council members have noticed a decrease in the population of cats that have gone through the TNR program. This decrease is due to the inability of the cats to reproduce, and the already established colony inhibiting new, stray cats from entering their territory.

Eiker asked if TNR was the only solution to the problem or if the cats could be caught, neutered and then relocated. Unfortunately, as Skoczen stated, the cats have nowhere to be relocated to. Shelters will not take them, as they are feral and most are unadoptable. Plus, local shelters are always encumbered with an overload of cats, and have trouble adopting them all out. She did suggest that maybe, if the kittens could be caught, that they could be taken into a shelter as they stand a better chance of being socialized and adopted out to families.

The Board agreed that the TNR program should be implemented in July, when the local shelters are running their spay/neuter clinics. The Board will need to allot additional funds for this program though, as they have already utilized their allotted funds of $500 back in March. Funds can be moved from another section of the budget in order to compensate for the costs of continuing to implement the TNR program. Official transfer of funds will be discussed at a later time.

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