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REALLY need help and support!!!!!!!

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
this morning i was trying to open the new bag of cat food when 3 condo "cops" came up to me - i told them it wasnt the time (emotionally Im a wreck due to 2 deaths in the family).

They told me i was to stop feeding the cats - i talked to them for 20 minutes telling them this is the only option - more cats will come - more kittens will be produced. These..... (i w ant to curse so bad) - had zero sympathy. The one woman said she watches animal planet - i could have smacked her for such a stupid comment - espeically 3 sentences later when she called the cats stupid.... ?????

Im outraged, im saddened - sick - i feel all these things with such force that I cant even cry anymore.

I called the womanfrom the organiztation i work with and she will have animal control contact them on monday. She says he will talk to them and tell them there is no other option - hopefully his authority will mean something - but i doubt it.

I was basically given a time line to MOVE the cats to a whole other vicinity - which i know wont work either....

The thing thta BROKE my heart was getting in my car and seeing 4 cats standing by the food dish - my buddy - the one that comes closest to me every day was sitting at teh edge of the yard watching me drive off wondering why there was no food

I CANT TAKE THIS - i am feeding these cats if i have to get up in the middle of hte night and do it. i know i can go to the other side of the tiny wooded area and leave food there - i just hope the neighbors tehre dont see me - but it has to be done.

PLEASE if anyone can give me advice on what to do because these cats will not die becaues of these selfish stupid horrible people
post #2 of 34
I'd do it after dark, and to **** with those folks.
post #3 of 34
Yes, wear black pants and shirt, and hat. dump the food and leave.
post #4 of 34
Thread Starter 
thanks.... so now im officially a vigilante?? that works for me.

what about moving them - can i seriously trap all 30+ and move them to an entirely new location???? I know i would need help with that for sure.

the only other option would be to feed them and move them thru the other side of hte woods like i mentioned - the only thing is there are quite a few private homes on that street - i can not go on their property... and with moving the food even at night on the condo property is that there are lights outside so i dont know if i can really sneak this for too long behind the condo buildings - ill for sure try - but im sure someone somewhere will see me and cause a fuss...

i just didnt need this BS right now....

and i told them too that how dare the people complain and not physically do a damn thing when they had 2/4/6/8 cats - they wait till theres 30 for someone else to take care of the problem and im doing it totally alone - its people like this that make me care so dearly and deeply for other species...
post #5 of 34
I think you handled it really well. Given what you've posted, we've known something may happen. I REALLY hope having animal control talk to these people will help. It IS a position of authority, and one they really have no choice but to accept (I hope!!!!!) You really are working on their behalf. In fact - talk to animal control again. I know it's an official city or county thing - but is there way you can officially become an intern or volunteer (with no pay?) That way you actually WORK FOR animal control in what you're doing?????????????????????

And I agree - I'd dress in dark clothing and go out at night.

I'd also start working on moving where you're feeding them. I think the stinky food 20 - 50 feet away each night, same place for two nights in a row might do it. ??????????

post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 
im already planning in my mind where ill leave the food tonight and how ill make a "trail" of food within the next week or so to get them in the woods behind my place... i have some canned tuna -that should be good right - any other food/moving advice?? Thanks!!!

thanks for all the help - i really figured it was ok since she didnt get back to me within the 3 days she said - so this was a shock -even though i should have been more prepared (im usually a very paranoid person
post #7 of 34
I really like the idea of trailing tuna or herring juice to where you'll be putting the food! I think that will help them find it!

We live full time in an RV park again (lived on the road for 10 years). The guy two spaces up from us was feeding them. When we told him our plans for TNR, he stopped feeding them and we started. It didn't take them any time at all to figure out that move and we didn't leave tuna juice trails or anything like that. The spaces are about 60 - 80 feet wide, so that was a move of about 150 feet. So forget my earlier advice - I think you can move them 150 - 200 feet at a time with the help of tuna juice. You can figure this distance out pretty easily by measuring your stride at home. Start up against a wall, walk ten paces normally, then figure out how far that distance is. I'd feed them in the new place for 2 - 3 nights in a row. Unless you feel very under pressure, then I'd do it just 2 nights in a row, and move it again.

Maybe others have more useful suggestions.

and for what you're doing!

post #8 of 34
Hi m935,

As someone who deals with neighbors that hate my colony and also have had many taken away/or mysteriously disappear, I really feel for you. How horrible to have to go through this. I'm sorry... I have no advice although I would continue feeding them no matter what they say too, even if it is in the middle of the night...I think trying to move them with a trail of food is a good idea also.

Please know that you and all of the cats in your colony are in my thoughts and prayers.

Good luck with everything! And thank you for all that you are doing!
post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 
thanks - and that cat icon made me tear up - im such an emotional person to begin with and thats why i REALLY appreciate all the help...

so when i leave work tonight im going to the street on the other side of the condos to map out a plan. I know where im starting at least. Ill do that for maybe a few nights to get them on this new schedule and then start moving it from there. I may have to make a very long trail of food - because like i said with lights and possibly nosey neighbors - i cant stay in one place too long.

My bf also thought (and im not too sure of this) that i should ask the condo association to pay me to remove them (even though im not technically moving them to a place they think i would be). But because im doing a service for the condos.. blah blah.

If animal control refuses - i dont know who else they could find really- to drop cats off at the shelter yourself costs $50 each. To be a total and complete horrible human and do something drastic to the cats is a crime. So that now leads me to ask.... what options do these condo people really have then???

they BELIEVE to stop feeding them will cause the cats to just take off forever with no cats left behind. I argued this and they just talked right over me like they have any clue!!! My other fear too is - what if these people get upset with the Animal control officer and his wonderful view on keeping these cats alive - im worried someone will turn him in and get him fired. Is that possible??? What is the normal view of A.C. officers with feral cats - i know you guys have probably dealt with them in your areas?

post #10 of 34
Each township, city, county, whatever has very different positions on animal control. This person has the job - I doubt VERY much that his position would get him fired. But I'd call him and ask - he wasn't so helpful in a physical way, but was informative. I'd seriously call and strategize with him.

You may end up turning into more of an advocate than you ever planned! I'd really check out some of the links on Alley Cat Allies (http://www.alleycat.org) to help prepare you.

post #11 of 34
sorry to go off topic but what is TNR?
post #12 of 34
Originally Posted by fastnoc View Post
sorry to go off topic but what is TNR?
Trap, Neuter, and Release. It is a way to manage colonies so they don't continue to breed.
post #13 of 34
Here's more info on TNR: http://www.straypetadvocacy.org

post #14 of 34
Thread Starter 
i took that ride after work onto the street behind mine - and I wish I did this sooner. I knew there were people on that st. complaining to animal control so i thought there were quite a few houses. There arent. In fact - there are no homes on the one side of street - closest to the condos. Im sure its still condo property and if someone found out they would complain again for sure. But for now.... i would be pretty much hidden from the condos and I would have the entire st. to move them on that side - no private property like i thought before.
So this is a HUGE plus. Im still keeping it in my head that anythign can happen (i know that now) that I cant expect that its going to be easy or im not going to have more problems - but its better than i was thinking this morning. Im going out now (8:00) to feed them - poor things. I just cant get the image of my buddy watching me drive off this morning hungry......
post #15 of 34
Choose your spot carefully, and keep feeding there. Meantime, transition
your ferals with a Trail of Food ... to the new place. Keep moving about 100 yards a night and you should be able to get them to learn to go there really really soon! So glad you have this option. People suck. Get in touch with a TNR (trap neuter release) program - HIssy or someone else here can direct you to local ones - and then get those cats fixed!! Use a drop trap if you find someone who has, otherwise, beg borrow and plead for as many traps as you can handle. I used up to 6 with 20 ferals, and wound up with 14 fixed in no time flat at 3 and 4 per weekend. 9 were females - so happy I got em!

I had 3 die and 3 leave mysteriously, and that left me with 14 - of which some have vanished. I have 4 new kittens (born this summer) to catch, and the rest of the lot that comes to eat at my colony are blessedly FIXED.

When I see a stray roamer, I try really really hard to catch it...

Drop trap got the last 3 skittish ones - and I'm training the cats to
eat in one spot together, so I can use the drop trap on em, and get
those young kits fixed!! (I know I'm bad, LOL.)

Thing is - I fed for over a year and wound up with abuot
22 cats before someone listened to my pleas and
helped with a money grant and with trapping aid and hooked me up
to a clinic for ferals that I (and many rescuers) never knew about.

So greatful for their aid. Now, there's only about 14 to 16 cats, and
I only see about 12 on a regular basis. I have shelters out for them
hidden in bushes, camoflauged and it does my heart good to know
a) they will keep other cats away from the colony so no more will
"wander in" to be a problem and
b) they cannot breed anymore and c) that they
have warm safe/dry shelters for the harsh winter days....

Keep it up. Only us feral caretakers and trappers know what
is to have the love of a feral cat (I have a little girl cat I adore
who is always there waiting for my car at 7:30 on "lookout" and
gets so excited when she sees me coming! Priceless gift.)
post #16 of 34
It sounds like you are on your own with these cats, is there anyone that you know who could help you? A few months ago I was overwhelmed, too many cats to rescue at once and not nearly enough experience. I made calls until I found a great organization, with people to get advice from and some help too. Perhaps you could call your local shelter and they could direct you to people who would work with you so these cats can get the care that they need. Good luck!!
post #17 of 34
Good for you for not buckling to pressure.
I would take all of the advice above. The cats can't help that they are homeless.
TNR will shrink this colony and sooner or later you will have a stable colony though you will lose some now and then. It is the nature of things.
post #18 of 34
Thread Starter 
the animal control guy has weekends off - (i dont get that) - but tomorrow im calling him first thing because he should be willing to talk to these people and let them know there is no other option... but i can see them being stubborn just because they like to be difficult (i could tell they love this "power" they think they have) - im starting to feel they will still refuse.

i left the food out last night - unfortuately there is no easy way into the woods from that side - i had to leave it by the street -but it isnt traveled much. I went out this morning with my dog to feed the cats (i had the food/water in a small backpack)

They didnt touch what i put out last night - that worried me - i gave them more water especially in the heat and even more food a tiny bit closer to where i was feeding before. I was just SOOO nervous because i cant let the people on that st. see me either. Im probalby going to go back when it gets a little darker - but when the street lights havent come on yet - because in the middle of the night standing under a bright light doesnt do much in being sneaky. I also feel that driving my car is a bad idea too - walking my dog is more of a cover....
I also put some smelly tuna on the food too this morning. I hope they got it - im so worried now. I cried again today - i just cant believe this is happening - if these cats were really there for 2 years (like they said) - why NOW when Im doing something to help the situation are they fighting ME. I tell you these people must love controversy (like it gives them something to do)
post #19 of 34

If you keep putting the food out at a regular time and it's not far, they'll find it. It may take a little while for them to adjust, but have faith. Your efforts are worth it! (But it also means there's not wildlife there gobbling it up!)

And as to condo people - they often totally groove on the power. We've helped several people working with kitties having problems with condo people, and it can be a real PIA!

Hang in there. You can always come here for lots of hugs and to rant. It's not perfect, but it helps. We've got lots of ears and lots of big shoulders.

post #20 of 34
I know condos have a lot of people that just like to be nosy and mind other people's business, but they also have by-laws. Check your by-laws to see if it is illegal on the property or if it even mentions feeding stray animals. If it is not, they could be chasing their tails for months trying to get it in. Surely there animal lovers there that would be glad to thumb their noses at the condo cops and help you out.
post #21 of 34
Thread Starter 
ok i just got back - there were 2 cats eating when i got there (i put it out at 8am)- but at least they found it. Do they "signal" the other cats to its place?? i put more food out - but the water dish was turned over and i didnt ahve more w/me. I know they need water...

ill go back tomorrow morning - im PRAYING the 6 houses on that st. all have residents that work mon-fri. That would be fantastic if I feel i have the privacy to do this without the paranoia of having the cops called on me...

at least tomorrow is monday and i can get more help on this.... I trap every wednesday which is coming soon and i HAVE to trap this week - it just will be much harder now....

ALSO - i was thinking about this on the walk back - the one woman said she called several places about TNR -and "everyone" SHE talked to said TNR didnt work. I actually sent an email to the one place she mentioend to even see if thats true and if so - i asked for info as to why. Every place I called - every website Ive visited states TNR is the best option. Are there actual legit animal agencies that feel TNR is a negative thing?? Because Id like to know why.

post #22 of 34
I think doing it at 5 in the morning would be the best time. can you manage that?
post #23 of 34
Thread Starter 
i just talked to the animal control officer - i think hes just burnt out with all this in general. he said he will talk to the one witch - but he said if they want them gone - he has to do it

these cats are going to die now...
post #24 of 34
No, no, it doesn't mean that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He would need the manpower to trap them, and he doesn't have that.

And yes, they leave markers - actually in some instances, up to a mile away.

I don't know of any organizations - other than county shelters - that do not support TNR. The Vet Association and even Cat Fanciers (breeders assoc) support TNR.


Next, I would print out one or two things for the Board people to read. It's one thing you telling them - it may be another thing actually learning about it from organizations that are not "you." I know it feels desperate and bleak right now, but it's not time to give up yet! If the animal control officer is burnt out, help him make his case.

I would include a short note that says while right at the moment they may consider you a "crazy cat person," but there are studies and science behind the method. It's not just about being humane in treating a situation that no one individual is responsible for, it's about finding a long term solution that works for the condo and the community (don't even mention about working for the cats).

I would print out this one because it's pretty even-handed in its assessment of both: http://www.americancat.net/removal.html, and I would circle this portion:

Q: Can't I just tell my staff or my children to stop feeding the cats, and the cats will go away?

A: Animals congregate in certain habitats according to the availability of not only food, but water, shelter, and companions. Removing food often does not result in cats simply moving out to look for other food sources if other attractants (dry shelter, a male cat drawn to females in heat, a frightened tame cat comforted by the presence of humans, etc.) are strong.

Female cats, especially pregnant cats, often will stay right where they are abandoned. Owners of seasonal houses often return to discover a tame cat and feral kittens in residence, and there was not one scrap of human-provided food to be had. The cat was abandoned, and stayed where there was shelter because she required it for her kittens. Hunting enabled her to survive until discovery by humans (some abandoned cats with kittens simply die unnoticed while humans are absent).

If an unsterilized female remains, males will certainly visit her. So even though males will often move out to search for new food sources, a cat in heat will certainly cause them to return, or attract new males.

Humane agencies certainly will tell stories of kittens abandoned alongside a road that simply sit there and starve until someone stops to pick them up. If no one stopped, they would sit there and die.
This is also an excellent article that illustrates an actual situation where it basically "proves" that eradication doesn't work: http://www.feralcat.com/sarah2.html

This one may be too long, but it is documented and cites references: http://www.cfainc.org/articles/trap-alter-release.html

Here is a shorter version (you would just want to use the introduction, because the rest is basically for vets and colony caretakres on what to do), but also contains the important citation of the vacuum effect published by Karl Zaunbrecher, DVM and Richard Smith, DVM, MPH (in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Volume 203, Number 3, August 1, 1993):


If you don't think any of might will help, I'll look for others.

post #25 of 34
i just now saw this thread, and I was and still am kinda in the same situation, what i did after being called the cops on and a report filed on me was...... I got online with alleycatallies, ordered the info on TNR, IT was a set
on brouchures, I got them and passed them out to the people in the area of the colony, the police chief, ( I told him to make all offiers read the info) and the mayor, city manager, city attnorey, etc. I do know the police chief
personally, we went to high school together. but.....I went and checked on him again and he said to carry on with what I was doing, because he checked it out and what I was doing was NOT against the law! and it isn't!
I still go feed late at night, and any family, friends that know I do this late, don't like me doing it , they think some weirdo will get me out there!
But I have continued, I am still parnoid about the jerk that called the cops, even though he is a cat lover, he saw me with a trap, and thought I caught one of his cats and took it home or something, then wouldn't even let me explain, that i didn't , just threaten to shot me if I came on his property!
My babies just had probably about 5 litters, because of this BS and everything that put this to a halt! so now there is about 30 cats to trap and fix! That just ticks me off, but I do have a few more folks on my side as of today!
I have no funding, no help, I am at a loss, but I am not giving up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
People here in my town are totally ignorant ! They generally have no education on TNR, it is easy for people to say , well educate them, it is so over whelming
when your doing this alone...and the food for all of these hungry mouths is getting expensive on my pocket book!
so many obstacles, that I just had to retreat but I think I have recovered
again, and I can go take them on again! i have put it in the local paper, but I would have thought someone with the love of cats just like mine, would have stepped up and offered some assistance to get this TNR program started but
they haven't yet!!
just know that what your doing is not against the law! it cost more for the taxpayer to pay animal control, to go and trap, house , feed, and then put to sleep.,than it would to have A COMMUNITY WIDE TNR PROGRAM tell the
complainer that! bring the TNR brouchures to her door,


Get the brouchures pronto!! educate, especially the ole bitty, never know
she might end up being your buddy! some people just want attention, so give her some!!!!

good luck I know exactly were your at! But get educated on this subject so you can fight for them!!!!
Love ya fellow feral friend!!
post #26 of 34
Thread Starter 
I ran into the "nicer" witch today after work... she apologized for the other woman's rudeness and abruptness.

She said because they have had at least 6 complaints that they jsut can not allow these cats to remain in the area. She said she really doesnt want to see the cats die - if i can move them - fine. She will give me 6 weeks (thanks)to do what i have to do - feed them/trap them etc.

So i guess this is somewhat better than them just calling animal control - who by the way I was told if he does take cats to the shelter - the organization i work with goes and takes them out!!!

So I just now have to start moving this food - if i can secretly get them where i want them in the woods - i wont have to move them off property which i KNOW will be very hard to do. I know I cant move them THAT far.... its just going to be tough> Ill continue to need your support and advice thru this - THANKS
post #27 of 34
Well, I actually don't think it will take six weeks to get them all eating in the new place. Or is this just one step towards where you want to get them to go?

I don't know where they'll end up hanging out. But when they get fixed, they wander less and will stay close to shelter and food.

But if the condo people don't see you either feeding or trapping, then there's not much they can do!

Whatever happens, you are doing the right thing! And they WILL find the food!

post #28 of 34
It is called divide and conquer.
She gave you a nice window to move them and get some more TNR done. I would come up with a plan of action and with persistence and consistency you will be able to do it.
post #29 of 34
Thread Starter 
thanks so much again

Im feeling a little better now - i just hope im not confusing the poor cats - i stopped feeding on the other side of the woods and yesterday I went back to the original yard - BUT i moved the dishes from their one feeding spot to the other side of the yard to start this moving process.

They were all there waiting - it broke my heart thinking for almost 3 days if they didnt know there was food elsewhere that they may have been waiting and starving....

Tomorrow I should be able to get someone with experience over to map out a route with me. The "cop" will be gone in 2 weeks - so then I can have that privacy to do what I want...

Im just worried these cats wont move... I know everyone says they will - but thats my fear now

Whatever happens I just try to keep in mind that Im doing all i can...
post #30 of 34
They'll move, this will work!

Is the "cop" leaving or going on vacation?

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