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Unmanaged feral colony

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
This is a news article I'm C/P

High Cliff Estates in Milan has a couple dozen or more unwelcome residents — wild cats whose home base is outside an empty mobile home.

The unidentified owners, who are trying to sell the mobile home, return each day to set out food for the felines, much to the concern of neighbors complaining about dead cats, flea infestations, damage under their mobile homes and health hazards.

Residents have complained to Rock Island County, Milan and High Cliff officials with little success, until now.

Thursday, High Cliff Estates manager Tisha Turner said a contractor has been hired to begin resolving the cat problem today, but she declined to give details on what would be done. She also said violations and fines will be assessed against the people feeding the cats.

A spokesman for Rock Island County Animal Care and Control said the county is not responsible for animal issues in Milan but would assist if requested by village officials.

Milan Mayor Duane Dawson said he was unaware of the problem.

"If it's become an issue, we certainly want to take care of it," he said. "We may have to have somebody trap them and do something about it."

He said the village has a stray-animal ordinance, but he didn't know specifics of the ordinance offhand.

One resident, who asked not to be identified, said the cats have destroyed air conditioning-venting under her home, causing about $1,000 worth of damage.

Kerry Shuh, who lives across the street, said that over the last five years the increasing cat population has resulted in a flea infestation in her home three times.

"I've already spent $70 on foggers and sprays to try and get rid of (the fleas)," she said.

Wednesday, she hired an exterminator. "But for how long?" she said. With the cats still roaming around, she said it's just a matter of time before the fleas are back.

Tiffone Johnson said cats have had litters of kittens under her mobile home.

At least two kittens and a litter of five have been found dead near the trailer where they are fed. The woman whose air conditioning venting was destroyed said she found two dead cats outside her home Thursday morning.

Many of the cats' eyes are matted shut, which one resident said an animal shelter official told her was caused by a highly contagious herpes infection.

"I'm a total animal lover, but I don't like all these wild cats," Ms. Johnson said. "I don't want to say they need to be put down, but some of them, they probably do."

Ms. Johnson and Ms. Shuh said their biggest concern is the health hazards the cats pose. She said she is concerned children who run after the cats will get scratched or bitten.

"Somebody needs to be accountable," Ms. Shuh said.

"I wanna see them either get taken care of or out of there," Ms. Johnson said. "We need to get rid of 'em."


I don't know what to do. I'm writing everyone I can think of tonight. Gathering phone numbers to call tomorrow.

I've contacted Ally cat allies for help- waiting on a reply.

And I contacted the only TNR group near me (THREE HOURS AWAY) to see if they can assist.

I feel so alone right now. Those poor, poor cats.
post #2 of 10
That is sooooooo sad. Thank you for contacting Alley Cat Allies and the TNR group!

I so don't want to be preachy, but can't help myself... this is exactly why we always recommend that when people want to help strays and ferals they either do nothing at all or have the cats sterilized - and definitely do not feed if you're not actively trapping. Populations spiral out of control so quickly if they're given energy with food - and allowed to reproduce.

I hope you're able to find advocates to help you help the township do the right thing for the community and the cats!

If you need any info on TNR quickly, please let me know. Feel free to PM me.

for those poor kitties.
post #3 of 10
I presume the standard "solution" for liquidating an unmanaged feral colony is either shooting them in place, or poisoning them.

Lets hope the City Fathers prefer good, tidy, nice solutions before a quick, cheapy solution.
One of the officials mentions trapping. It sounds positive: If so, it does leave openings for solutions.

Either TNR and or intensive adopting for these healthy and adoptable.
These already sick will be pts in every variation I presume. Unless there ARE big funds for vet care...

TNR needs of course some volunteer, and a acceptable place, safe for them to live and whese they will be accepted by neighbours.
Adopting need to of course someone who wants to work on with it.

This preferably in their county there. Although I imagine, they can be transported away to someplace else, where there volunteers are.

Why Im writing this, Khayos. Dont try to stop them: They must solve the problems this way or another. What you can try to do, is to show them there ARE tidy, nice solutions. Where everyone will be happy, and their image of forceful competent officials yet being also highly ethical with clean hands. AND nice fellows to have around.
post #4 of 10
Stefan, in the States, shooting or poisoning is not an option. There would be a public outcry about hazards to other animals (with poisoning) - and shooting is just not allowed. They TRAP them to have a vet euthanize them.

The sick ones or ones that will need to much care would obviously have to be PTS. But hopefully a TNR group can get involved and educate the town as to the cost alternatives. Perhaps a place for the sterilized colony can be found for those that are too wild to be adopted out.

My guess is that in the end they simply evaluate whether or not the cats are adoptable - if they don't require too much care, they go to a rescue and are otherwise PTS.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well I went to the park office, it was closed.

So I dropped a large envelop with a letter from me and some info on TNR. I explained the costs of spay/neuter, the benefits and offered to trap for free and transport to the vet if they would be willing to spend the money on vet visits instead of paying this private contractor to come out.

I'm trying to contact people living in the park to try to convience them that TNR can work and ask that they talk to management about it.

I think I've contacted any organization I can think of.

But the costs of helping all of them is going to be outrageous, I don't have high hopes...

BUt this made me want to focus on the cats in the park i live in. They're all healthy but I know there's a bunch more not fixed. Don't need it getting out of hand though.
post #6 of 10
It took us about two years in the park we're in. We moved into a house for four years - and when we moved back, there were only two brothers and one sister we could find and that anyone knew about. We did see a mom and three kittens earlier this summer, but couldn't track them down. But given we TNR'd 20 the first year - imagine what it could have been here when we moved back!
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
wow yeah 20 is great!

Iowa Humane Alliance got back to me and connected me with another feral caretaker nearby. She's got a bit more experience with dealing with officials, so we're both (mainly her lol) going to try to convience them to do tnrm.

should be interesting
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Another organization just contacted me. It's one I adopted my dog from. They want to know what my ideas are and if I have any ideas on how to cover costs. they're talking to the vet they use to see what they can do.

Man, even if we can't save these babies, it'd be so awesome to have a TNRM organization in the area.
post #9 of 10
IDK your funding situation (I use personal moneys for cat care, though some groups here offer financial assistance), but maybe you all can organize some fundraisers specifically for this cause- carwashes, yard sales, raffles, a casino night? I suppose it depends on your network, but I hope you're able to mobilize a large number of people with traps. Even if you can't save them all, maybe you can save some and that's better than nothing.
post #10 of 10
Wow, that's great news! I hope the city will help with some of the funding - they'd be paying to get them trapped and put down anyway.

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