In Eugene Oregon, USA, at the Lane County landfill site there are stray and feral cats feeding off the waste. Concerned residents have apparently complained that members of staff working at the landfill site are intentionally killing cats.
This is denied by the management but they do admit that cats at the site are an ongoing issue and at many other solid waste locations because they jump into dumpsters and are transported to a landfill site or transfer station where they breed and produce more cats.
Staff at the Lane County landfill site are instructed not to try to save the cats in the waste while heavy equipment is moving around in the interests of their safety.
This raises the question as to whether a rescue organisation can become involved to rescue the cats by trapping them. This appears to be a case where a partnership between the landfill operator and a rescue organisation could benefit the cats.
“I understand safety is a great concern to everyone, but I’m sure there are ways to make it safe for everyone. I’m sure there’s ways for everyone and we can at least get the cat out of there, spayed and neutered.” – Jenetta Overholser of Cottage Grove Humane Society.
The Lane County Public Works Director Daniel Hurley said that in the past employees had rescued litters of kittens from the site but it had caused significant disruption and that they don’t have the facilities to house the cats.
Commenters on the website which has reported the story are all in favour of working with rescue organisations or individual people who are involved in cat rescue to resolve the matter.
Comment: the story indicates two things to me. Firstly it is highly likely that there are many feral and stary cats living in and around landfill sites across the entirety of America and in other countries because they are a source of food.
Secondly, I’m convinced an arrangement could be entered into between county officials and humane organisations whereby the cats can be rescued and nobody hurt. What about operating a TNR program after working hours i.e. on a nightshift? That might be a good compromise. This is not a problem that can’t be resolved fairly straightforwardly in my opinion provided there is the will to do it.
There is plenty of desire on the cat rescuers’ side. The ball is in the court of Lane County to talk to cat rescuers.