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Feral Alert

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Subject: Feral alert: Indiana utility to evict 20 cats from 4000 acre facility

From Neighborhood Cats - for more info please respond to the author of the letter below (Greg Brush of IndyFeral; email: gbrush@indyferal.org)

Dear friends of free-roaming cats,

We've received word that NIPSCO (Northern Indiana Public Service Company) is working to remove free-roaming cats from their Wheatfield Shafer Generating Station in rural Jasper County, Indiana (about 60 miles southeast of Chicago, as the crow flies). It's a 4,000 acre facility (yes, that's four thousand) and although the initial estimate was 40 free-roaming cats, it's now down to 10-20.

As was reported in the Post-Tribune (www.post-trib.com), a cat appeared on a security monitor and the plant manager assigned an employee to go remove the cat from the area. Apparently that employee is now undergoing a rabies series after being bitten and scratched. [For background, the last reported case of cat rabies in Indiana was 1984. Source -- Indiana State Board of Animal Health: http://www.in.gov/boah/companion/rab...abiesinfo.html]

After that incident, the decision was made by NIPSCO to remove the cats and kill them using a local pest control company. Complaints by the employees --some of whom would like to adopt the animals-- has stopped this action. However, for liability reasons, NIPSCO will not allow the employees to remove any of the cats, even at their own risk.

They have, instead, arranged to have the animals trapped and taken to the Calumet Area Humane Society where they will be evaluated. The adoptable animals will be placed up for adoption and the feral cats will be killed. NIPSCO seems to feel that this will absolve them from the responsibility of the death of the cats (since they aren't directly asking for them to be killed), and allow the employees to adopt the socialized cats without liability to NIPSCO, should the adopted animals prove dangerous.

A 4,000 acre facility could easily accommodate 20 cats...or even 40 cats. With ever so little planning, the cats could be "migrated" to safer areas of the property through planned feeding (rather than the random feeding by employees), and provided with shelter away from sensitive areas. The entire colony of cats could be surgically sterilized for minimal cost and allowed to live out their lives in the area that they have come to know as their home. This could go from a potential media fiasco to a model of corporate responsibility for NIPSCO.

The story is being followed by the Post-Tribune in northern Indiana (where much of my information originated). Look for the latest on their home page at: http://www.post-trib.com . The most current information, as of today (30-July), is in this article: http://www.post-trib.com/cgi-bin/pto...1_news_02.html

What you can do!

1. Contact NIPSCO and let them know that this can be a great opportunity for them to show off good corporate citizenship. Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and common-sense colony management offer simple, humane and effective alternatives to removing and killing these cats.

2. Spread the word to other folks who can also let NIPSCO know that their actions are under scrutiny far beyond Indiana. Corporations dislike few things more than bad publicity on a national scale.

NIPSCO Contact information:

Ron Ragains, Director of General Operations and Maintenance for NIPSCO 219.477.6253
The only e-mail contact I have is NIPSCO's general mailbox, as listed on their corporate web site (www.nipsco.com): nipscoquestions@nisource.com
Their main postal address is:

801 E. 86th Ave.
Merrillville, IN 46410


Greg Brush
Vice President,
IndyFeral Inc.
post #2 of 4
Geez, People can be such idiots! The ignorance of this company is astounding.

Thanks for the heads-up and for the list of what we can do to help.
post #3 of 4
That's so sad. There was a shipyard I know of that was going to capture and kill the entire feral colony, but a local feral cat organization stepped in and volunteered to catch, spay, neuter, vaccinate and reintroduce them all. They were successful and it was a happy ending. Most of the shipyard workers wanted the cats to stay to keep the rats away! Some had fed them. It was just a few high ups who got it in for them. All it takes is one creep. Glad this one turned out okay.I hope that Indiana one will too.
post #4 of 4
Thanks for the heads up. I'll ask our firm if we can use their stationary for the letter (they know we're cat nuts).

Coming from a Sr. VP of a brokerage firm (me) and the Chief Investment Officer (Gary), it might make a difference if the letter's on our firm's letterhead.

Thank you for the info & the contact info.
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