Corn­wall man at­tacked by roam­ing cat

Seaway News - - News - NICK SEEBRUCH ni­

CORN­WALL, On­tario - An el­derly man liv­ing in the Riverdale area had a bad en­counter with a roam­ing cat on Thurs­day night. The man has asked that we do not share his full-name, so we will re­fer to him as Mr. F.

Mr. F. said that he came across a grey cat with a white col­lar in the back­yard of his Riverdale home on the even­ing on May 24.

He said that when he went to pet the cat, it at­tacked his right arm, caus­ing him to go to the emer­gency room to get anti-bi­otics and a tetanus shot. The cat left him with sev­eral lac­er­a­tions up his arm to his el­bow. Mr. F. said that he waited in the emer­gency room un­til 4:30 a.m., a seven-and-a-half hour wait.

Riverdale res­i­dent Bren­dan Wells says that stray cats are a prob­lem in his neigh­bour­hood. He is aware of the pro­posed new by- law de­signed to dis­cour­age peo­ple from feed­ing roam­ing cats, but says that he feels it does not go far enough.

“These are wild cats, they are not pets,” Wells said. “There is one so­lu­tion, eu­thana­sia.”

Wells ex­plained that he had seen some lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions ad­vo­cate for trap and re­lease, where roam­ing cats would be trapped, spayed or neutered and then re­leased back into the area where they were caught. He said that this would not work be­cause the cats would still have feral ten­den­cies and would still be out hunt­ing for food.

He said that these cats leave messes in neigh­bour­hood flower gar­dens, uri­nate on car tires, which cre­ates a foul smell, they de­stroy lawn fur­ni­ture and, as in the case of Mr. F., can be dan­ger­ous.

Wells said that when he heard about what hap­pened to Mr. F., he called the Corn­wall Com­mu­nity Po­lice Ser­vice (CCPS), who di­rected him to call the OS­PCA. When he called the OSCPA, their of­fice was closed, but their an­swer­ing ma­chine di­rected him to call the CCPS.

The po­lice ul­ti­mately told Wells that they could have an of­fi­cer come out to the area to write-up a re­port, but rather than oc­cupy an of­fi­cer’s time, Wells says that he wants to find a so­lu­tion that gets to the heart of the mat­ter.

“No one wants to see an an­i­mal de­stroyed,” said Wells. “But you have to face re­al­ity.”

The City of Corn­wall ad­min­is­tra­tion pre­sented City Coun­cil with a pro­posed by-law at the last City Coun­cil meet­ing on May 14. Un­der the by-law pro­posed by the City, any­one who feeds roam­ing cats would be re­spon­si­ble for hav­ing the cats spayed or neutered and all cats would be re­quired to be on a leash when out­side or would need to be in a fenced in space.

Mary-jane Proulx of Roy & Cher’s Res­cue was skep­ti­cal of that pro­posed by-law as well, but said that catch and re­lease was the most ef­fec­tive way of deal­ing with the prob­lem.

Mel­lissa Alepins of Tiny but Mighty Kitten Res­cue went fur­ther to say that spay­ing and neu­ter­ing needs to be more af­ford­able.

“We need low-cost spay and neuter clin­ics,” said Alepins at the Corn­wall Coun­cil meet­ing on May 14.

The SD&G OS­PCA made a pre­sen­ta­tion to Corn­wall City Coun­cil in Nov. 2017 where they stated that they had taken in over 700 cats that year and that nearly one-third of all roam­ing cats that they take in in the prov­ince come from Corn­wall.

For their part, the CCPS said that if an in­di­vid­ual is se­ri­ously in­jured by an an­i­mal, that they should call the po­lice.

“If some­one is at­tacked by an an­i­mal af­ter­hours and the in­juries are sig­nif­i­cant enough that med­i­cal at­ten­tion is re­quired, po­lice should be con­tacted,” said Stephanie Macrae, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Of­fi­cer with the CCPS. “If the at­tack is less se­ri­ous where med­i­cal at­ten­tion is not re­quired and the owner of the an­i­mal is known to the vic­tim, the OS­PCA should be con­tacted dur­ing reg­u­lar busi­ness hours as they are the ap­pro­pri­ate agency to in­ves­ti­gate these types of in­ci­dents.”

Mr. F.’s arm was left lac­er­ated, red and swollen after be­ing at­tacked by a roam­ing cat in Riverdale on May 24, 2018. (Nick Seebruch/ TC Me­dia)

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