by Geri Fowler
At work I have taken care of feral/stray cats for 26 years. It was never a problem and our patrons enjoyed the cats. Some of the people even helped with donations of food or money. Many older people have told me there is a place in Heaven for me because of my compassion and concern for these cats.
Even the Animal Control people that stop in our parking lot to do paperwork or eat lunch or get a drink never said a word. One guy would pet the friendly stray we had there.
A guy living on the road behind the store lets his 2 pit bulls run. They have attacked the cats and our patrons and left messes all over our property.
About 8 weeks ago after asking this guy for over a year to keep his dogs penned I called Animal Control. Basically they did nothing except tell him his dogs had to be confined or leashed. The dogs still show up at our store, but not as often.
Well on April 8th an Animal Control worker came into my work place loudly wanting to know who called on the dogs. I answered. He very rudely told me the guy with the dogs made a counter complaint against me. He told me it was against the law to feed cats. He was going to fine me and have me arrested if I did not stop!
Feeding cats was more offensive than letting pit bulls run and harm people was the way this guy came off. The debate continued. He said he was going to trap and kill the cats. This is private property and illegal for Animal Control to be on unless invited. The handbook says all stray/feral cats are to be killed because they are not native to Florida.
Neither are most other animals here, the war is against cats specifically. I find this archaic and cruel, people here are angry. I’m still in tears.