Stray and feral fe­lines con­tinue to cause prob­lems in Grand Bank

The Southern Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - BY PAUL HERRIDGE

Peo­ple in Grand Bank need to be more re­spon­si­ble when it comes to stray and feral cats, Mayor Rex Matthews said.

The town has been deal­ing with com­plaints of roam­ing fe­lines for months.

Twenty-one cats were taken from the Greenwood Av­enue area alone ear­lier this win­ter, Matthews said, and when the prob­lem is dealt with in one neigh­bour­hood, an­other trou­ble spot seems to pop up.

“It’s very time con­sum­ing, very costly,” he said dur­ing council’s meet­ing last week.

“It de­lays the work that we’re try­ing to get done out­side be­fore the fall and win­ter sets in.”

Some peo­ple in the com­mu­nity are very pro­tec­tive of the an­i­mals, Matthews said, say­ing cats have been hid­den until the town’s cages are re­moved. They also worsen the sit­u­a­tion by giv­ing the cats food, he said.

“We’ve spo­ken to peo­ple about feed­ing the cats, and their com­ment is, well, they can’t see the poor cats with noth­ing to eat,” Matthews said.

“I have to com­mend them for hav­ing a kind heart, but all it does is in­crease our prob­lems.”

With the ve­teri­nar­ian in Marys­town not al­ways avail­able when an­i­mals are cap­tured, council passed a mo­tion ear­lier this month al­low­ing town man­ager Wayne Bolt to use his dis­cre­tion when deal­ing with cat prob­lems.

The vet will also only eu­th­a­nize cats that are feral, and those that aren’t wild are re­turned to the com­mu­nity. The town works with the SPCA, as well.

The town is hav­ing some suc­cess, but there’s a long ways to go be­fore the prob­lem is solved, Matthews said, sug­gest­ing council dou­ble its cat traps to six.

Four more cats were taken from one property in the town in the span of a few days re­cently, Matthews said.

“That par­tic­u­lar fam­ily was tor­tured,” he said.

Coun. Travis Parsons said he has heard com­plaints from two ar­eas of town. One per­son in par­tic­u­lar was re­ally frus­trated, he said.

“It’s a dif­fi­cult one,” Parsons said of deal­ing with stray and feral cats. “It’s one of those po­lar­iz­ing top­ics with peo­ple when you talk to them.”

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