Cornwall local prepares cats for winter

Connor McLaughlin, Special to Seaway News
Cornwall local prepares cats for winter
Some of the cat shelters created by Mary-Jane Proulx.

CORNWALL, Ontario – Mary Jane Proulx of Cattrap Cornwall is a long-time cat lover, as well as a feline protector in the community who worked on capturing spaying and neutering feral cats for several years. For the coming winter she has been creating cat shelters to keep cats from freezing.  

“This week I’m giving out 7 shelters for the feral cats, I know we can’t re-home them all so that’s why I believe in Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR),” said Proulx. “Most people don’t want to house feral cats, so the next best thing is to catch and release them, so kittens aren’t born out onto the street.” 

Cattrap made a total of 25 cat shelters during the month of September and is looking for any plastic coolers people can donate for use in building more cat shelters. If a person wishes to donate, they should contact Cattrap or Mary Jane Proulx. 

“I’d like to give a big thank you to Emard Lumber and Fence Depot for donating the straw that is used for the shelters. Some people think to put blankets in the shelters however straw should be the only insulation used, as blankets and towels will become wet and the cats will freeze,” said Proulx. 

Proulx stated in a conversation how she wishes the City of Cornwall was a little more involved, and that if anyone in the community would like to help, they should. 

The City of Cornwall passed a mandatory cat registry by-law in June 2021, partially mirroring the existing dog registry by-law, as a part of their Cat Control Strategy, as well as continuing to set a subsidy of $40,000 to support low-income households so that they may comply with the registry and spay and neutering program. 

Proulx expressed that she believes this is a step in the right direction, and that she wishes for more changes like this that continue to keep roaming cat population down, as well as continuing to support spaying and neutering cats. 

She went on to say how during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of pop-up clinics has decreased, with only one clinic appearing in the year of 2020. 

In a conversation with Charles Bray, Chief Building Official, he gave more information on how the City of Cornwall plans to support the community in regard to the feral cat situation. 

Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions the number of clinics that the City was able to host was restricted.  There is however a clinic opening up in early November and more planned for 2022,” said Bray. 

Bray announced that they are pending budget approval for another $40,000 be added to the 2022 budget. 

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