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Council OKs cat program

May 13th, 2003, 09:47 AM
Council OKs cat program

Chris Thompson Star Staff Reporter, Windsor Star

The city will undertake a year-long test program to catch and spay or neuter feral cats in the west end.

The project will cost $30,000 and will attempt to catch 125 cats and proponents hope it will be extended and expanded.

The report of the committee for a no-kill solution for feral cats was presented at Monday night's council meeting and recommended a two-year program at double the cost.

"It's obviously a very complex issue and a very emotional issue," said Councillor Alan Halberstadt, the chairman of the committee which was formed last October.

Prince Road residents Richard and Shirley Trealout spoke of the inconvenience of having their property and neighbourhood infested with feral cats.

Kept awake

"We are kept up all hours of the night with the noise," said Shirley Trealout. "We've just had enough. We just can't enjoy our property. I think we have the right to enjoy our property and we just can't do that right now."

Richard Trealout said cat feces are a regular bother on his lawn.

"I get seven piles of cat debris every week," said Trealout. "They fight, they mate in my backyard."

The pilot project area will be bounded by Mic Mac Park in the west, Prince Road and Felix Avenue in the north, Huron Church Road to the east and Malden Road and Malden Park to the south.

Dorit Girash of the Jazzpurr Cat Care Society is glad the city is finally doing something about the problem but is skeptical that 125 cats unable to reproduce will have a real impact.

"We're absolutely thrilled the city has decided to look at a no-kill solution," said Girash.

But Girash said the need is far greater and she believes Jazzpurr could do the operations for $40 each rather than the $115 in the city's plan.

Doug Jeffery, chairman of the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society, said owner awareness and education is necessary to prevent domestic cats from becoming feral.

"Cats are not indigenous to Ontario," said Jeffery. "They came from somewhere and somewhere is someone's home."

The society is able to return, on average, 30 cats a year to their owners while it takes in about 4,500, Jeffery said.

Estimates of the feral cat population in Windsor range between 20,000 and 40,000. A single mating pair of cats can reproduce 400,000 offspring over seven years.

Copyright 2003 Windsor Star