Residents demand help with stray cats

Nick Seebruch
Residents demand help with stray cats
A stray cat (Seaway News file photo).

CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall City Council received a petition on Monday night from residents of Bergin Ave.

The petition demands that Council address the amount of stray cats in the area.

“The feeding and and breeding has brought an overwhelming population of these feral cats to our neighbourhood,” the petition reads. “The amount of cat feces and urine in our yards poses a health risk to our children, pets and the enjoyment of our property. We are seeking the trapping and removal of these feral cats by proper authorities.”

So far the petition has 25 signatures.

Dennis Poisson, an organizer of the petition says that he has done as much as he can to deal with this issue.

“There is a person feeding the cats in the neighbourhood,” he said. “We caught five kittens last week and three more this morning.”

He explained that the kittens are sometimes trapped under lawn chairs or under decks and that he tries to find those who are willing to adopt them.

Poisson said that he has asked the OSPCA to collect the cats, but they refuse to do so.

In a conversation with Seaway News Chris Rogers of By-Law Enforcement said that the City was discussing strategies and solutions with the OSPCA.

“Feral cats are the minority of the problem,” Rogers said. “The OSPCA suspects that roaming cats are the bulk of the issue.”

He said that from his perspective roaming cats were not being treated with the proper amount of care or responsibility.

Rogers explained that back in 2008 there was an OSPCA initiative to collect stray cats and a by-law was put into place, but that it expired a year later.

Now he says, there may not be the possibility to revive the by-law as it was.

“They (the OSPCA) recognize the problem is legitimate as we do,” he said. “But they are at capacity and cannot house more cats.”

Rogers said he met with the OSPCA back in May to formulate a new plan and that the OSPCA would soon advise the City’ on what that program might look like.

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